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“Sharing your thoughts publicly can be intimidating!” tweeted Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour yesterday. No, this wasn’t a precursor to announcing new measures to crack down on the kind of users who can make Twitter such an angry, intimidating place. Instead, Twitter is launching its equivalent of Snapchat, Instagram and everyone else’s ‘stories’.

Twitter’s version is called ‘fleets’, and it’s being tested initially in Brazil on Android and iOS. “Fleets are a way to share fleeting thoughts. 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,” explained Beykpour. “Yes, there are many similarities with the Stories format that will feel familiar to people.

There are also a few intentional differences to make the experience more focused on sharing and seeing people’s thoughts.” Product name awkwardness aside – Fleet is also a brand of saline enemas that “provides reliable relief from occasional constipation without pain or spasm”, and yes, Twitter knows this – we’ll be interested to see how the new feature rolls out, and how it might be used by artists.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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