Twitter is testing disappearing tweets

Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, speaks at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City, May 16, 2018.

Mike Segar | Reuters

Twitter on Wednesday announced it will begin testing a new stories-like feature that will allow users to share content that disappears after 24 hours. 

The new feature, which the company is referring to as “Fleets,” is rolling out only to users in Brazil, said Kayvon Bekpour, Twitter product lead. The feature could increase usage and engagement by giving casual users a way to share fleeting thoughts with less pressure and risk of sparking a negative reaction. It comes after years in which users like pro athletes, comedians and film makers have come under fire or lost their jobs due to controversial tweets they had shared years prior.

In its Q4 earnings report, Twitter claimed 152 million average monetizable daily active users, up nearly 21% compared to a year prior.

The feature is akin to that of the Snapchat Stories feature that was first introduced by Snap in 2013. That feature allows users to share images and videos that disappear after one day. Since Snap’s innovation, the feature has been copied by the likes of Facebook and its Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp services, and most recently, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn. 


The new feature comes weeks after Twitter’s acquisition of Chroma Labs, a start-up founded by a team of former Facebook engineers who had developed Instagram’s Stories feature. 

Twitter is currently facing an activist action by Elliott Management, which is pushing to replace CEO Jack Dorsey, who splits his time between Twitter and Square, where he is also CEO.

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