The microblogging social network Twitter has launched some new features on Tuesday, including disappearing tweets and an audio-based conversation tool.
The new Fleets feature allows users to post content that will disappear after 24 hours. It looks very much like Stories on Facebook and Instagram. The links to Fleets will appear in a line on top of the feed, and you can access it by clicking through someone's profile picture.
Snapchat was the first to introduce the ''Stories'' feature in 2013. Since then, its rivals Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube came up with their own versions of disappearing posts.
Unlike regular tweets, Fleets do not get retweets, likes or public replies. Users can react to them with private messages like on Instagram and Snapchat. At a later stage, users will be able to use stickers and live broadcasts, Twitter said.
According to the company, the idea is to reduce the pressure people feel on social media. Many users complained that they feel uncomfortable because Twitter feels more permanent and too public, they noted.
''To help people feel more comfortable, we've been working on a lower pressure way for people to talk about what's happening,'' Twitter said in a blog post.
However, the company has not yet found a way to prevent users from taking a screenshot of a Fleet or notify people when someone takes a screenshot of their tweet.
Separately, Twitter is also working on voice tweets, the company said, adding that the new ''audio spaces'' service is currently being tested in Brazil. It is set to launch before the year-end.
Twitter did not give much information about the incoming new feature at this point. It only highlighted that the new feature would first be accessible to a small group of women and those from unprivileged backgrounds, both of which are often victims of abuse and harassment on the platform.
After the first tests of voice tweets, Twitter was criticized for the lack of transcription options, which made it inaccessible for people with hearing issues. The social media platform is now working on transcriptions on all its media, and it is expected to roll out in 2021, it said.
The company is also looking into ways for users to give ''private feedback,'' for instance, telling another user they crossed the line and need to stop. It could take the form of a notification or nudge from Twitter, it said.
According to Debra Aho Williamson, an eMarketer analyst at Insider Intelligence, the new features Twitter rolls out now are long ''overdue.''
Social media is constantly evolving and Twitter needs to catch up, she noted, adding that the microblogging platform has always been slow in implementing new features.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with her? Has Twitter been too slow in responding to the latest trends in social media?