Ever since Snapchat, temporary stories have been hugely popular with social media users. With Instagram and Facebook both offering disappearing stories, it was only a matter of time before Twitter got in on the act. With the introduction of “fleets,” you can now post something to Twitter without making it a permanent fixture on your profile.
In this article we cover everything you need to know about Twitter’s self-destructing fleets. This includes how to post your first fleet, how to share other people’s tweets as fleets, and even how to upgrade a fleet into a fully-fledged tweet.
What are fleets and how can I use them?
At the time of writing, fleets were available via the Twitter mobile app only. If you are accessing Twitter via your mobile web browser, you’ll need to download and use the Twitter application.
When you launch the app, any fleets will appear along the toolbar in the form of profile bubbles. If you haven’t watched a particular fleet, the corresponding profile bubble will be enclosed in a blue ring. A white ring indicates that you’ve already viewed all fleets from this particular user. To view a user’s fleets, give their profile bubble a tap.
Create your first Fleet
Want to take this new feature for a spin? Simply tap the “Add” button at the top of the Twitter mobile app.
This will launch a new window, with a slider representing all the different types of fleet you can post. You can choose between Text, Camera Roll, Capture, or Video.
For example, you might select “Text,” then type the message you want to (temporarily) share with the world. When creating a text-based fleet, you’ll have the opportunity to change the post’s background and text color, and text alignment.
When you’re ready to send your fleet, tap “Done.” This fleet will now be accessible to your followers via the Twitter mobile app.
Replace permanent retweets with temporary fleets
Sometimes you may encounter a tweet that you want to share but don’t necessarily want to turn into a permanent fixture on your timeline. Rather than retweeting this tweet, you can post it as a temporary fleet.
To share another user’s tweet as a fleet, find the tweet in question and tap the “Share” icon. You’ll now have the option to “Share in a Fleet.”
At this point you have the option to add a text overlay before reposting the tweet as a fleet.
Upgrading your fleets: how to turn fleets into tweets
You may post a fleet only to change your mind and decide that this post is tweet-worthy after all. If you decide to keep a fleet around for longer than 24 hours, you can repost that fleet as a tweet.
1. In the Twitter mobile app, tap your profile bubble. Twitter will now scroll through all your current fleets.
2. Wait until Twitter displays the fleet you want to share as a tweet, then tap the little arrow icon in the upper-right corner.
3. Select “Tweet this.”
4. If required, you can add a comment to your fleet using Twitter’s composer screen.
When you’re ready to post this Tweet as a Fleet, go ahead and tap the “Tweet” button.
While Twitter is late to the game in implementing self-destructing tweets, it is always better late than never.
After self-destructing tweets, the next thing you want to do is to download your personal data on Twitter. Here is how you can do so.