After first launching it with users in Brazil back in March, then expanding access to Italian audiences in May, Twitter has now announced that its take on the Stories format - 'Fleets' - is coming to the Indian market.
Fleets, as you can see in these images, are very much like Stories, with a new panel of rounded profile icons at the top of your Twitter home feed, which, when tapped, connect you through to a full-screen, vertically presented stream of posts that disappear after 24 hours.
At this stage, Fleets doesn't have the additional visual presentation tools and AR functionality that most other Stories options have, but you can expect that Twitter will gradually evolve on this front as well, given the acquisition of Chroma Labs back in February, a company that was entirely focused on advanced Stories presentation.
As noted, thus far, Twitter has launched fleets in two markets, and the feedback shared seems to suggest that it does add something to the tweeting experience.
As per Twitter:
- Fleets make it easier for people to share their thoughts
- People are finding it simpler to start convos with Fleets and are starting to Tweet/DM more too
- When people send a Fleet, they often share a number of thoughts rapidly
- It’s still *very early*, but we’re seeing less abuse with Fleets as only a small percentage are reported each day
These notes were based on Brazilian usage of Fleets, and they indicate that the option does address the key point that Twitter was looking to focus on, in giving users a less "permanent and performative" (there are no likes and retweets in Fleets) option when sharing their thoughts in the app.
Twitter's taking a staged approach to the roll out, which is similar to how LinkedIn is rolling out its own Stories feature. Last week, LinkedIn rolled out LinkedIn Stories to users in the UAE, following initial launches in Brazil and the Netherlands. That market-by-market approach gives them the opportunity to detect any issues, and refine the option before a bigger launch - but you would expect, in both cases, that they must be close to going all in.
India is Twitter's 8th biggest market, based on usage, with around 13 million Indians using the app. That's a far cry from the 64 million Twitter users in the US, but in combination, Fleets will now be available to more than 30 million users, which is a significant test pool - and could end up being the jumping-off point for a full, global roll-out.
In other words, get your Fleets strategy ready, it'll likely be available to you soon.