Twitter to test Stories-like ‘Fleets’ in India after Brazil and Italy

Fleets are for people to share their ideas and momentary thoughts that will disappear after 24 hours

Fleets will be available for everyone in India on Twitter for iOS and Android in the coming days in updated app versions. Photo: Twitter

Three months after Twitter began testing its own version of stories, called Fleets, that would disappear after 24 hours, in Brazil and Italy, the American social network company on Tuesday (June 9) said it would start testing the format in India.

Twitter said in a statement that Fleets were for people to share their ideas and momentary thoughts. Followers can reply privately via direct messages to continue the conversation, while they can also report a Fleet, it said.

Fleets will be available for everyone in India on Twitter for iOS and Android in the coming days in updated app versions. The offering from Twitter is similar to ”Stories” on Facebook and Instagram. People can tap on their own avatar (profile picture) to start, then add text or media and hit send.

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“We learned from research that people don’t tweet because tweets are public, feel permanent, and display the number of retweets and likes. We hope Fleets will empower many more people to express themselves more freely,” Twitter said in a statement.

“India is important for Twitter since it is one of our largest and fastest-growing audience markets globally. We are excited to bring the Fleets experiment to India and make it one of the first three countries in the world to experience this new product,” Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari said.

He added that the test would provide insights around how adding a new mode of conversation changed the way Indians engaged on Twitter. “It will also be interesting to see if it further amplifies the diversity of usage by allowing people to share what they”re thinking in a way that is light-touch and light-hearted,” he said.

Fleets from the accounts one follows would show up on top of the user’s timeline. Twitter said users could see who had seen their ”Fleet” by looking “underneath” a post. Since starting the test of Fleets in Brazil, Twitter had seen people become more comfortable sharing what’s on their minds.

“People who don’t usually Tweet are starting more conversations and sending both Fleets and Tweets. When people send a Fleet, they often share a number of thoughts rapidly,” Maheshwari said

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