It seems like nothing since Twitter launched Fleets, those ephemeral text messages. In general, they are similar in limitations to classic tweets, i.e. 140 characters, and that along the lines of Instagram Stories, which have been so popular for the content of limited duration, are only visible for 24 hours. And it’s normal that it seems like yesterday since it’s been just over a year since this feature debuted on Twitter in test mode, and less than a year since its general availability.
However, as successful as this model of ephemeral messages may be in other proposals, it seems that in the case of Twitter the proposal has not been successful among users and, consequently, and as we can read in its blog, the company has taken the decision to eliminate them, a scheduled end that already has a date, and also close, the fleets will disappear next August 3.
The main reason for Fleets was, according to Twitter itself, to encourage users to publish on the network, without the fear that their messages would last over time so that they could later be used against them. This is something that has become very common on Twitter, almost daily we can see how, before a certain message, or simply if a person has become popular, their old messages come to light and are used to show changes of opinion or simply to make fun.
Fleets, as we say, were intended to put an end to this resentment on the part of many users, but it seems that the system has not been as effective as those responsible for it had hoped. And in my personal experience, we subscribe to the same opinion, to the point that except for a couple of specific occasions, none of the people we follow (and there are quite a few) have published a single Fleet since this function was activated.
Now the question remains, however, as to whether Twitter will consider applying the ephemeral messaging model in any other of the tests they claim to be carrying out. And if Instagram Stories are a good example of something that many users like, Clubhouse chats have confirmed the trend in the interest in ephemerality. Thus, it would not be surprising that in the short or medium term, Twitter will try its luck again with some other function that offers this time limitation.