In our blogs at Baer Performance Marketing, we often discuss the latest advancements and new updates to software and platforms. If you are an avid Twitter user, you probably noticed a new feature over the past three months. Twitter added their own version of a social media Story called “Fleets.” The name derives from the combination of the word tweet and fleeting. Fleets turn your tweets into posts and create content that “lasts for a very short time.”
Inspiration and Imitation
Before we describe how to use Fleets, the functionality and limitations, it is important to discuss the origin and premise of the new Twitter feature. Social media platforms all defined themselves as “different” when they initially launched. They all have different functions, audiences and purposes in the social media space. Facebook started as a way for college students to connect. Instagram started as a platform with users only using still images. LinkedIn was a way to expand your network virtually. Although software engineers and founders started the platforms as something completely different in the industry, they’ve all taken on a life of their own.
Looking beyond the name of Twitter’s new function, the feature is basically mirroring the already integrated Story function from LinkedIn. LinkedIn copied the Story feature from Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (the founder). All major social media platforms now have some form of a Story function.
Stories are a social media feature allowing users to highlight a post at the top of the app, outside of the congested timeline. Users can also add to a Story and Fleet to continue writing the ”story” of content at the top of the social media app.
After the launch of Fleets on Twitter in November 2020, many users were confused by the addition. “Why is Twitter trying to steal Stories from the competition?” The feedback was mostly negative and stoked the always popular opinion of wanting Twitter to add an edit button.
Additionally, Fleets took the place of the News and Video Streaming section at the top of the app. News stories are now only found organically on a timeline, within the Search section or the Trending portion of Twitter. To find Video Streams, you either need to scroll your timeline to organically find them or go to the specific Twitter profile where the video is being hosted.
How Tos and Limitations
Posting a Fleet is very simple and similar to posting a Story on other platforms:
- To post a Fleet, you need to be on your Twitter timeline.
- Click your profile on the top left corner with the plus sign.
- Then select an image or video to post.
The Fleet will be up for 24 hours on the top of the timeline for your followers to see. You can also turn your published tweets into a Fleet:
- Go to your recent tweet, and on the bottom right, there is an arrow with a bracket facing up. It is the same icon you would use to share a tweet with someone else.
- After clicking the icon, you can “Share in a Fleet.”
The initial feedback on the tweet to Fleet function was that it is unnecessary and redundant. Posting your tweet to your Fleet is similar to posting your Instagram post to your Instagram Story—we saw it already on the timeline.
*Also, note that Fleets can only be posted and viewed when using Twitter’s mobile app. The feature is not available via desktop at this time.
Final Feedback on Fleets
Ultimately, the longevity and usefulness of any social media feature is determined by the end users. Software engineers might have great intentions with a new tool on paper, but they cannot predict how people will use it, if at all.
What is BPM’s take on Fleets?
Twitter users at Baer Performance Marketing have not embraced Fleets and have collectively not Fleeted one time on personal or professional accounts. The addition of Fleets did nothing to enhance Twitter or fix a problem. Story functions are wonderful for Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, but not practical for Twitter. The #BaerTeam chooses to post images, .GIFS, memes, videos and tweets instead of Fleets!
If you’re looking to better understand social media platforms or new features, we are here to help! Reach out with any questions at BaerPM.com.