If you opened up Twitter recently and saw an unfamiliar sight you are not alone. No, nothing is wrong with your account, instead you are looking at the latest Twitter feature known as “fleets”.
The update is Twitter’s version of Snapchat’s popular story feature where users can post an image or video that is only available for a 24 hour period. After Snapchat launched the feature in 2013, other social media platforms came out with their own iterations. Once both Instagram and Facebook stories were live, Twitter became one of the few remaining holdouts.
But that holdout came to an end with Twitter’s latest feature announcement.
What are Fleets?
Fleets are messages you can post on your Twitter account that are viewable to your followers for a 24 hour period. These temporary messages can share text, photos, videos, or previous tweets. You can see which of your followers have seen each individual fleet. Fleets can only be seen and added on a mobile app and they are not viewable on Twitter’s desktop application.
What can fleets do for you?
Like all digital marketing avenues, you will need to test to see if fleets are the right digital touchpoint for your business. Fleets lend themselves to initiatives that are time sensitive including promoting an upcoming event or a flash sale.
Mobile vs. Landscape
This feature, like all story features out so far, uses mobile orientation instead of landscape orientation. Not sure the difference? Picture holding your phone upright vs. sideways. With the growing number of outlets optimized for mobile oriented graphics it is worth revisiting your graphic creation process and templates to add more mobile friendly graphics to the mix.
What’s the takeaway?
The most pressing impact of Twitter’s latest updates is the solidification of social media’s fleeting features. Nearly all of the social media companies now (except for LinkedIn) have a method to post messages for a limited period of time. Social media stories are no longer a fad but a lasting communication strategy. Is this post something that users can find next time they are scrolling or something that is time sensitive and needs to be a story? You’ll have to think about that next time before you post.