Apps & Mobile

Twitter Debuts Twitter Fleets. Now What? [Video]

Launching in several countries this week, Twitter’s new Fleets feature – which allows users to share content that disappears twenty-four hours after posting – seems remarkably similar to Instagram’s Stories. While it’s being met with a fairly lukewarm reception generally, what implications might Fleets have for the music marketing world?

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

After months of development and speculation, Twitter Fleets, Twitter’s take on Instagram Stories, is finally here.

Competition breeds innovation. That is the lesson taught by many professors to business students around the world. Lately, however, it seems competition is breeding sameness, and that is a growing problem in social media that the newly launched Twitter Fleets won’t help.

Rolling out in many countries this week, Twitter Fleets is essentially Instagram Stories for people who mainly rely on Twitter. Users are able to share text, photos, and videos in posts that will disappear after twenty-four hours. The posts appear at the top of users’ feeds, and they’re arranged based on what the algorithm believes users want to see. Unlike Instagram, there is no augmented reality component, nor is there a ‘swipe up’ feature to link users to sites outside of the Twittersphere.

But does Fleets have a place in the music marketing ecosystem? We’ll let Music Biz host James Shotwell give you the answer:

For those unable to watch the video, the answer is complicated. Musicians who have more Twitter followers than IG followers stand to benefit the most from Fleets’ arrival. As long as fans engage with their content, artists with sizable Twitter followings can circumvent the timeline algorithm and appear at the top of every feed with Fleets. That said, without the ability to link to content outside the platform, Fleets’ power remains surprisingly limited.

This leads us to the question of why Fleets exists at all. On Instagram, Stories are where people post content from their daily lives. The pictures and videos that appear in Stories are fleeting (no pun intended) moments, while the content users post in their main feed is intended to last forever. Tweets, by and large, come with a short life expectancy. The best performing tweets are shared and mentioned for a week or two, at most, before disappearing into a person’s timeline. Far more tweets come and go without any engagement at all. So, what do Fleets offer that tweets cannot?

Given the tool’s infancy, it’s likely Fleets will undergo several changes in the weeks and months ahead. We’ll update our take as needed.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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