• Chase Charaba

Twitter Fleets are here, but are they worth it?

Updated: Mar 5

Twitter app open on an iPhone.
Twitter Fleets are here! Located at the top of the Twitter mobile app, it functions much like Stories on other platforms. Photo by Chase Charaba, SilverFox HQ

Twitter has stories now, but is it worth using? How does it stack up against other platforms?

On Nov. 17, 2020, Twitter launched a new feature on mobile devices called Fleets after months of testing in select markets.

Twitter’s version of Stories is the latest iteration of the feature originally made popular by Snapchat.

According to Twitter’s official help article, “Fleets allow you to share fleeting or transitory thoughts, and after 24 hours, they’ll disappear from view.”

Unlike regular tweets on the social media platform, Fleets don’t get likes or retweets. Much like on other platforms, users can reply to them privately through direct messages.

With the popularity of Stories across social media, it was only a matter of time before Twitter introduced the feature. How does it stack up against its rivals?

Twitter Fleets vs Stories

In its current iteration, Fleets doesn’t have as many features as Instagram Stories or Snapchat. Users can share original content from their phone, share Tweets, and add text. Twitter promises to add stickers and livestreaming in the future. For now, though, it lacks the popular features of its competitors.

Instagram Stories, for instance, allows users to add stickers, music, hashtags, location tags, use face filters, and more. Snapchat has many of those same features. In comparison, Fleets feels underwhelming with only the ability to add text.

As Twitter adds more features it could rival Instagram Stories, since content posted to the platform is already short and easily consumable, and images aren’t as compressed. It’s one of the many reasons why photographers and creators are flocking to the app instead of Instagram as of 2020.

How many people use Twitter Fleets?

Does anyone use Twitter Fleets? While there has been widespread use with creators posting their tweets to Fleets, there hasn’t been a huge audience of viewers when compared to Instagram.

The Twitter community had a mixed reception to the launch of Fleets. As NBC News reported, many users simply posted “No” as their first Fleet. Others took to the comments of the announcement post or shared their thoughts on the platform.

One user even asked if there was a button to disable the feature permanently. Despite the initial backlash against it, Fleets have largely been accepted with time, especially as new users join the platform.

As a Twitter Fleets and Instagram Stories user myself, I’ve compared the traffic received on each platform. Despite having hundreds more followers on Twitter, my Instagram Stories are viewed two-to-three times more than my Fleets (interestingly, it’s opposite for posts, with Twitter getting more traffic than Instagram). For the same content posted at roughly the same time on a Tuesday, my initial Fleet in the sequence received 9 views while my Instagram story received more than 30.

While there currently isn’t an official number on how many people use the feature from Twitter, many others have noted it’s lackluster response. With so few users viewing Fleets, it brings its usefulness to question. However, Twitter Fleets has its place.

How to market your products using Twitter Fleets

Despite the slow adoption of the feature, it has its worth. Much like Stories, Fleets are a great way to share short-form video content. The rise in stories and platforms like TikTok have shown that short-form content is extremely effective.

It also allows businesses to showcase more behind-the-scenes content on the platform or promote sales. Your business can share customer posts with ease without filling up your Twitter feed.

Another overlooked feature is how Fleets can help your content get seen. Despite the low viewership, Fleets are located at the top of the app. When you Tweet it can quickly become buried in your customer’s timeline. However, since Fleets are at the top they’ll be able to find your new posts much easier.

In conclusion

While Twitter Fleets was released to a lackluster response, its widespread use is inevitable. Brands wanting to make an impact on Twitter can utilize this new feature to their advantage. From sharing behind-the-scenes content and customer posts to short-form content, Fleets has a ton of potential for businesses.

Have you used Twitter Fleets yet? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments! If you haven’t set up Twitter yet for your business, check out our step-by-step article on how to get started on Twitter.

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