Twitter has launched its "Fleets" feature globally, since it first tested in its Brazil market earlier this March. According to the social media platform, Fleets are for sharing momentary thoughts. They help start conversations and only stick around for 24 hours.
Fleets will be rolled out to all its users globally in the coming days. The global launch comes after Twitter received positive engagements through its tests in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea, over the past months. Twitter saw users with Fleets conversing more on the platform. Due to Fleets' temporal nature, Twitter said it helped users feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a Twitter spokesperson explained how the concept came about. "We know tweeting can be intimidating, because tweets are public and forever. There's also the feeling that a good tweet has to have a lot of likes, retweets, and replies. But, there are fleeting thoughts everyone has throughout the day, those “felt cute, might delete later,” moments that you want to share but you don’t want to put too much thought or effort into. The team started to refer to these fleeting thoughts as Fleets and we went with it," the spokesperson said.
Through the new feature, Twitter now allows users to fleet text, reactions to tweets, photos or videos. Additionally, there is a customisable option provided where users can include various background and text. To share a tweet in a fleet, users can tap the “share” icon at the bottom of the tweet and then tap, “share in fleet.” Then, they can add text or emojis. Twitter is looking to include stickers and live broadcasting in Fleets in the future as well.;
With its initial global launch, Twitter will be focused on seeing how consumers across the globe adopt and embrace Fleets, before exploring business opportunities. The launch of Fleets also came as Twitter saw a jump in its ad revenue in recent months. According to its most recent financial report, Twitter registered a 15% increase in ad revenue to US$808 million during the third quarter of 2020, as a result of improved demand toward the end of the second quarter continued throughout the third quarter. This comes as advertisers used the platform to engage the audience around the return of events and previously delayed product launches. By region, US advertising revenue totaled US$428 million, an increase of 11% compared to a decrease of 25% last quarter, and international ad revenue was US$381 million, up 20% compared to a decrease of 20% last quarter.
Twitter is the latest social media platform to launch ephemeral content options. Commonly known as "Stories" on other platforms, this element- which sees content posted disappearing after 24 hours- was first seen on Snapchat, and has since been adopted by Facebook's family of apps (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) and most recently LinkedIn last month. In a LinkedIn post in February, its senior director of product management Pete Davies said the Stories format is great for sharing key moments and that there is now an entire generation growing up with Stories, meaning they are more comfortable starting conversations with a full-screen ephemeral format than posting updates. Davies added that users of this generation also prefer sharing content that lives as a moment in time rather than as an item in a feed. LinkedIn has currently close to 690 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, according to its official website.
Such ephemeral content have also gained traction over the years. Since its launch in 2016 on Instagram and 2017 on Facebook, Facebook has reported more than 500 million people using each of its Stories platforms: Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and WhatsApp Status. It is also reported that there are one billion stories shared every day across its family of apps.
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