Twitter rolled out its story feature “Fleets” on Tuesday, a new, less permanent way to post on the social media platform.
But users appear to have mixed feelings about another platform debuting temporary stories.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Twitter’s Design Director Joshua Harris and Product Manager Sam Haveson said that people have reported feeling a tweet is too final, and wanting some flexibility in what they post and the duration that post stays up.
“To help people feel more comfortable, we’ve been working on a lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening. Today, we’re launching Fleets so everyone can easily join the conversation in a new way – with their fleeting thoughts,” the blog post states.
Fleets appear at the top of the app in round bubbles with the icon of the user who posted them in the center. Once they are posted, they stay for 24 hours and then expire so people can no longer access them.
Users can also send direct messages from a Fleet post.
The entire format is one that has been used and pioneered by apps like Snapchat and Instagram, and later adopted by platforms Facebook (which owns Instagram), LinkedIn and others.
Twitter acknowledged the familiarity of the new feature.
“This format may sound familiar to you! We’ve learned that some people feel more comfortable joining conversations on Twitter with this ephemeral format, so what they’re saying lives just for a moment in time,” the blog post stated.
As the feature rolled out to users, some were excited to have a new avenue to communicate. Some wondered what Fleets was after it appeared on their dashboard without explanation. Many memed it.
But some appeared exasperated and frustrated at yet another platform using the same stories feature that has been popularized on other apps.
The first post for many Fleets was simply the word, “No.”
Others remarked on its similarities to other platforms.
“Does the fleets thing stress anyone else out? Like I use Twitter to get away from IG stories, not have it follow me around on every platform reminding me that I don’t have makeup on,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“Fleets are the thing that will finally make me cut the number of accounts I follow in half,” tweeted host of the “Friends at the Table” podcast Austin Walker.
“i hate fleets but i hate the fleet discourse even more. none of your jokes are funny. please stop. i’m begging you,” tweeted BuzzFeed News reporter Addy Baird.
And there were plenty of jokes and memes being made at the expense of Fleets.
Although the function appears to be named after a fleeting thought, “Fleets” shares its name with the enema laxative brand “Fleet,” leading to a whole range of teasing on the platform.
“When I think of Fleets I think of enemas, which might be appropriate,” Twitter user @asmudge76 tweeted.
Twitter says that Fleets are still evolving, and in the coming weeks will include more features like stickers and a broadcast function, according to the press release.