Story but no edit? Twitter users bring up edit feature request as platform introduces ‘Fleets’

November 18, 2020 - 5:43 PM
Twitter art
(Illustration from Pixabay/mohamed_Hassan)

Filipino Twitter users were greeted with what they described as an “Instagram Story”-like feature on the microblogging platform on Wednesday as it launched a new way to create and join online conversations.

The platform introduced Fleets, a feature where users can share texts, reactions to tweets, photos and videos which can be customized with various backgrounds and text options.

A fleet is only available for one day or within 24 hours after it has been posted.

To post a fleet, users need to go to the platform’s mobile app and then tap the “Add” option with their profile picture in it. This can be seen on the top of their feed.

If they want to share a tweet in the fleet feature, they only need to tap the “Share” icon at the bottom of the particular tweet and then tap “Share in Fleet.”

Twitter said that users will soon be able to share stickers and live broadcasts on the 24-hour feature as well.

Meanwhile, it added that individuals who can see your profile will have access to your fleets. Those with an open Direct Messages option, however, can receive any reply to their fleets.

Users who want to reply to a fleet can tap on it, which will lead them to either type a response or an emoji that will go through the individual’s Direct Messages.

The feature has been tested in Brazil, Italy, India and South Korea and according to the platform, it “helped people feel more comfortable joining the conversation.”

READ: Twitter testing disappearing ‘fleets’ in Brazil

“We saw people with Fleets talk more on Twitter. Those new to Twitter found Fleets to be an easier way to share what’s on their mind. Because they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings. These are early findings from our tests,” Twitter said in a release.

It acknowledged that the new feature is “familiar” to social media users and explained that some people “feel more comfortable joining conversations” with the ephemeral format since it is a “lower pressure way” for them to talk about what’s happening.

“Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation – it’s where you go to see what’s happening and talk about it. But some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there’s so much pressure to rack up Retweets and Likes. That’s why, unfortunately, there are so many Tweets left in drafts!” the platform said.

“To help people feel more comfortable, we’ve been working on a lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening. Today, we’re launching Fleets so everyone can easily join the conversation in a new way – with their fleeting thoughts,” it added.

Conversations of ‘edit’ feature

The new feature has already reached the top trending list of local Twitter as of Wednesday afternoon as users begin to experience and share their thoughts about it.

Twitter Fleet
(Screengrab by Interaksyon)

One of the most prevailing observations was how the platform opted for an “IG Story“-like feature instead of releasing an “Edit” option for tweets.

Twitter users have long been asking for an “edit” option in their posts so that they could correct their published tweets of grammatical or typographical errors instead of adding another reply acknowledging the mistake or deleting their post.

Last January, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey addressed the clamor and said that they have no plans of pushing the proposed feature.

“The answer is no,” he said in a video from WIRED, a monthly American magazine about emerging technologies.

“The reason there’s no edit button, there hasn’t been an edit button traditionally, is we started as an SMS text messaging service. So as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back,” Dorsey added.

He explained that having an “edit” feature might affect the way conversations would flow on the platform.

“One is, you might send a tweet and then someone might retweet that and then an hour later, you completely change the content of that tweet and that person that retweeted the original tweet is now retweeting and re-broadcasting something completely different. So that’s something to watch out for,” Dorsey said.

“A lot of people want it because they want to fix a quick spelling error or a broken link or whatnot and that’s great. We’ve considered a one-minute window or a 30-second window to correct something, but that also means we have to delay sending that tweet out,” he further added.