UPDATE (11/17/2020) After testing it in a program to select users beginning in March, Twitter has announced that "Fleets" is rolling out to all users beginning today. Though inconveniently named, the project is essentially the bird app's answer to Instagram Stories. Queer folks online are roasting the name choice, as expected.
ORIGINAL (3/04/2020): Twitter is continually doing updates, looking at suggestions (and mostly things that no one is suggesting) for updating their platform. The hope is generally to make the service either easier or safer for users. But an announcement released today has a few queers chuckling.
"Every day, people come to Twitter to see what's happening," Kayvon Beykpour, a Twitter representative, tweeted earlier today. "One of the unique things about Twitter is that 'what's happening' is fueled by people sharing their thoughts openly, through Tweets. But sharing thoughts publicly can be intimidating."
"People often tell us that they don't feel comfortable Tweeting because tweets can be seen and replied to by anybody, feel permanent and performative (how many likes and retweets will this get?!)," he continued.
And while you may be a power user, tweeting out anything comes to mind, Beykpour's comments are not in isolation. Just a few months ago, Instagram started taking like counts off of posts to ease these sort of feelings. Twitter's response? Make their own version of Instagram Stories and call it Fleets. Wait what?
"Fleets are a way to share fleeting thoughts," Beykpour tweeted. "Unlike tweets, Fleets disappear after 24 hours and don't get retweets, likes, or public replies -- people can only react to your Fleets with DMs. Instead of showing up in people's timelines, Fleets are viewed by tapping on your avatar." The new functionality is available in Brazil exclusively for now.
Now ... Fleet. Last year, some Pete Buttigieg stans started calling themselves the Pete Fleet. We pointed out then that Fleet is a popular enema brand frequently used by bottoms. The douching jokes write themselves! Did Twitter never think of this?
Well, according to the Twitter communications account, they did.
"Yes, we know what fleets means," they wrote. "Thanks." The post was signed by the "gay intern." Well, can't wait to see how this ends up.
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