For the first time in months, I logged into Twitter on my mobile device. I usually don’t do that. I prefer to use my laptop to access social media, apart from Instagram, and that’s only because Instagram is not desktop friendly at all.
But today, I was bored, and my computer was in a different room. I had my phone in my hand and I clicked on the little bird icon. I clicked and my eyes immediately zeroed in on the circles at the top of the page.
I stared for a moment or two, hardly believing my eyes. I even had to check to make sure that I was using the right app. I hadn’t accidently clicked on Instagram, right? No, it was definitely the right app. Apparently, Twitter has now added stories to the top of everyone’s Twitter page on the mobile version. I scrolled down what was trending and soon learned that this new feature is called fleets.
Fleets is basically like stories on Instagram and Facebook. It is a tweet that exists in time for only 24 hours. You can take pictures, shoot a quick video, or write something witty in a fleet. You can react to your friends’ fleets via direct message (DM),
What I Really Don’t Like About Fleets
I think the main reason I don’t like fleets on Twitter is because they are still new. For years, I was used to seeing Twitter a certain way, and now suddenly I have to start getting used to seeing those circles at the top (at least when I use the mobile version anyway). Things that are new are hard to adjust. Things that are new often makes people uncomfortable and resistant to change.
Change can be good, but only when it is implemented properly. As of now (at least on my end), there are some bugs that Twitter still needs to work out. Some people have complained about the fleets still being live after 24 hours. I myself don’t like that I can’t customize the fleets as I can on Instagram Stories. On Twitter fleets, I can only add text. I can change the font color and size, but that’s it.
At the same time, I hope that this won’t mean that Twitter will start to be more like Instagram. Twitter is its own amazing microblogging site. It is a site for people to express opinions. It is a site for people to use words as the primary way of expression. You can spar with words, or create peace with words. You can do so much with words on Twitter. I just hope that Twitter won’t start being more visual like Instagram. I just hope that Twitter can still manage to be its own thing.
What I Really Do Like About Fleets
What I have liked the most about Twitter is that it is unique. It is different from any other social media platform out there. However, it can be hard to promote on Twitter. I have found to promote effectively, you have to constantly tweet your works and links throughout the day so that more and more people can see it. Just tweeting once a day is not enough in Twitterverse.
These fleets, however, can help to change that. These fleets, I imagine, will be a pretty powerful promotional tool for your social media marketing campaign for your website, blog, books, vlog, podcast, or anything else that you strive to promote. You can add a tweet to a fleet to give it more exposure so that it is live for longer. This can help grow your traffic on Twitter.
So instead of only being live for a few seconds, it has the potential to be seen by more people throughout the course of a day. What’s more, people can actually click on the links. That is something that many people cannot do on Instagram, unless you have at least 10K followers of course. That’s definitely a game changer and will be very good for marketing efforts on Twitter.
Another thing that I like is that using fleets has the potential to create more direct connections with your customers and clients. You can react to a fleet with a response, and that response will get send to the user’s direct message. It is taking social media communication to a more direct, personal level. You aren’t just speaking out to a crowd of people, but instead to one person. This personalization will definitely be a game changer for marketing efforts on Twitter.
Now that I’ve had time to digest fleets for what they are and the potential that they can have, I am starting to see that they can possibly be a good thing. They are good for promotional and marketing purposes. Over time I expect Twitter to allow their users to include some emoji or music to fleets to help make them really stand out. Over time I expect that fleets will ultimately be just as much a part of Twitter as Moments, Retweets, and Bookmarks. We just have to give it time. But at the same time, I fear that this is the first step of Twitter becoming just like the other platforms.
How do you feel about fleets?