We’ve seen the rumblings for a while now, but the #RIPTwitter hashtag was at large this morning as Twitter finally announced that yes, it will be introducing a stories function to the platform. So, what do we know so far?
Stories are already hugely popular on Instagram and Facebook, in fact, we’d even go so far as to say that’s just where they naturally belong. They’re growing in popularity, and are now a key part of your digital strategy if you’re running a business. It’s not surprising then that Twitter are finally catching up with the bandwagon.
And people are not happy!
The new feature will be rolled out first in Brazil as a trial, and Twitter have called it “Fleets”. The idea is much the same as stories elsewhere, they will disappear after 24 hours, so it’s like a fleeting glimpse (it also works really well with Tweets, and these little things in life make me smile). I like it. Unlike Tweets though, the new Fleets won’t be able to receive likes, retweets or replies. It remains to be seen how users can interact…
Twitter will only display the stories of the people/accounts you follow, but you can reach the stories by opening a profile of someone you don’t follow (depending on their privacy settings). So, that’s worth bearing in mind if you’re about to go Fleet crazy.
The trial will be rolled out today in Brazil, with the view to roll out to further countries if it goes well!
Twitter really want to make their platform more user friendly, and attract more people to it. This isn’t just the only new feature they’re rolling out, there’s also things like being able to follow topics and also clean up abusive content. Twittewr stated in their blogpost that the new feature
“changes the way you interact and it allows you to share what you’re thinking more comfortably”
Apparently, people feel uncomfortable with Twitter’s public nature, and this is just one of those new features to help users feel more comfortable (another feature is currently being tested, where users can create specific audiences for their Tweets, very similar to a very old Facebook feature).
We ALL want to know how it’s going to work, and what it’s going to look like. Similar to Instagram and Facebook, we’ll start seeing these little circles at the top of the app, with your own profile first inviting you add to your Fleet.
From what we can see so far, the “composer” for Fleets is much more basic than on other platforms, and we don’t expect to see this change – Twitter itself is quite basic when you compare what type of posts you can create elsewhere. What we do know is that you will be able to add pictures and GIFs to your Fleets, as well as videos up to 2.20 minutes long.
TechCrunch has a great article with a lot of insights to this new feature, and we’d highly recommend you read it! What we did find interesting is the way users will be able to navigate though Fleets, because it’s VERY different to how you do elsewhere. Will this kill the Fleets straight away? Or will those who don’t use stories elsewhere just find it comes quite naturally? According to TechCrunch, to view Fleets you will have to swipe down instead of swiping right, and to go to the next person’s Fleets, you’ll swipe left… yes, we’re already confused.
I’m a big fan of the story feature, when it’s used in the right way. Let’s say you’re using social media for personal use, it’s a really good way to sort of, show off you day – what you’re up to, without flooding any news feeds. I know a LOT of people use Twitter just for personal use, and they only use Twitter. So, for them, this might be a funky new additon. On the other hand, by its very nature, Twitter is fast paced, so it’s pretty hard to flood a news feed. I’m half thinking that actually, Twitter already has this feature in that Tweets are short and sweet, and invite people therefore to be using the platform in a story like manner.
The same goes for businesses – if you only use Twitter for business, then you might like this new feature BUT don’t forget to Tweet. I think it’ll be a long time before people are just opening the Fleets first, and those who use Twitter well, will always want to scroll and interact. It’s just how it works!
If you’re already on many platforms, whether it’s for business or personal use, then the key will be to actually decide how you might use Fleets. As a business, and even for personal use, duplicated content across the platforms is really boring – and something we highly recommend you avoid. If you already use Facebook stories and Instagram stories, how can you make your Fleets different? It adds another new dimension to that digital stategy…