Twitter Had A Good Idea, Then Lost It

Social media users know there is a risk a post won’t “age well.”

For example, in 2016 Felicity Huffman posed the following question to her Twitter followers: “What are your best ‘hacks’ for the back-to-school season?”

Yesterday, Twitter launched its solution: “Fleets” – a way to publish fleeting thoughts that remain public for just 24 hours.

What’s At Play

First popularized by Snapchat in 2013, ephemeral posts have since been copied by Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, Youtube, and Linkedin.

Twitter executives have said the feature is meant to lower the stakes of social media posting and encourage people to be more active on the platform:

  • The company announced the feature earlier this year and it has since been tested in South Korea, India, Brazil, and Italy.
  • Executives have said Fleets resulted in higher engagement and more posting activity on the platform.

Twitter is also experimenting with a feature that will allow users to set up an audio chat room and invite guests.

Hot Water

Unfortunately for Twitter, it has a long list of problems that won’t just disappear overnight.

Last month, Twitter shares fell by more than 20% after executives warned of uncertain ad spending around the election. The company added just one million daily users in the quarter, its slowest level of growth since 2017.

Yesterday, Zuckerberg and Dorsey were dragged in front of Congress to face questions about how they moderated content during the election.

A few months ago, Twitter was hacked by teenager.

Fleets Takeaway

The ability to take a screenshot still exists – so there are still plenty of ways to find yourself “canceled.”