Twitter has made it known that it will now launch international tool, Fleets”, which automatically “disappears” messages (tweets) after one day, following the pattern of “stories” of “Snapchat” and “Instagram”, but also the corresponding features in “WhatsApp”, “LinkedIn” and “Pinterest”.
“Fleets” can include text, photos and videos, all of which will have a 24-hour life; the new feature will appear worldwide in the next few days on all “Android” and “iPhone” devices.
However, some users have expressed concerns that the new feature is creating new opportunities for online “harassment”. Also, one reason Twitter has been slow to create its own ephemeral tool on its platform is that it is more difficult to generate advertising revenue from ephemeral posts than from more permanent content.
The new tool has been tested in Italy, India, Brazil and South Korea and, according to Twitter, was generally welcomed. Twitter’s reasoning –as the creators of “Fleets” wrote on a related company blog– is that many users feel uncomfortable because some of their messages have a permanence. On the contrary,
“because they disappear from public view after one day, “Fleets” helps people feel more comfortable, sharing their personal and occasional thoughts, opinions and feelings.”
As the social media environment tends to become increasingly polarized and toxic, along with the spread of all kinds of misinformation, several users have reduced their digital footprint to a minimum.
“We’ve created a space with less pressure that allows people to express themselves in a way that feel a little safer”,
said Twitter’s design director Joshua Harris.
The question is to what extent this is actually achieved with the new tool. Some Twitter users, who already have the “Fleets” experience, according to “Reuters” and the “New York Times”, said it appeared to have created new possibilities for sharing annoying and unwanted messages.
Twitter has also confirmed that it is developing the new “Spaces” tool, which it will soon test, which allows users to participate in public chats; small groups of users will be able to speak privately without a permanent recording of what is said. The aim is to strengthen the “voice” initially of women and minorities, but even in this case there is a fear that the privacy of the conversations could lead to abuse and “diversion”.
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