San Francisco – Snapchat previously did. Then plunged into Instagram and Facebook. Now Twitter is also joining it.
On Tuesday, Twitter said it would introduce a feature called Flats, which would allow users to post almanac photos or text that would automatically disappear after 24 hours. The company said that Flats, a name that refers to the “fleeting” nature of an idea or expression, will roll out in the coming days to all iPhone and Android users worldwide.
Twitter said that its main “global town square” service, which people like President Trump uses to broadcast his ideas to followers, remained its marquee product. But the company said that it is believed that many users simply lurked on the platform and were rarely posted. This can make it easier for people to communicate without worrying about extensive scrutiny of their positions, said Fleets.
A Twitter director of design, Joshua Harris, said, “We’ve learned that some people feel more comfortable interacting on Twitter with this arbitrary format.” We can create a space with less pressure that allows people to Allows to express themselves in a way that feels a little more secure. “
Twitter’s move is part of a larger shift by social media companies towards more private and temporary ways of sharing. As public sharing on social media has led to the proliferation of toxic content and misinformation, many people look to reduce their digital footprints and communicate in more intimate groups.
Apparel sharing was pioneered by Snapchat. Snapchat’s parent company, Snap’s chief executive Evan Spiegel, said he saw young people wanting to keep their photos and communications private and temporary when their company was founded in 2011. Snapchat’s Stories feature, which broadcasts someone’s posts to their followers. It has become extremely popular, before disappearing 24 hours later.
Snapchat’s competitors have taken note. Facebook and its family apps, including photo-sharing site Instagram and WhatsApp messaging apps, have replicated the feature in recent years. Others, such as LinkedIn and Pintrest have also followed suit.
Twitter’s practice has been of late, partly due to the public nature of its platform. Another obstacle to creating a product is making advertising for short-term posts more difficult than content that is more permanent.
Twitter officials said that in recent Flats trials in a handful of countries outside of the United States, users gravitated to the new facility. “New people on Twitter found an easy way to share the flats in their minds,” Mr. Harris said.
Small technology companies have also worked over the years to redesign alternative forms of communication. A popular communication start-up among gamers and others, it has popularized group chat rooms that use video, voice, or text chat. The clubhouse, another start-up, has pushed forward an all-audio, all-apparel social chat room approach.
Twitter said that it was also experimenting with audio forms of communication between users. One of those products, called Space, looks and functions similar to a clubhouse, with younger people able to talk privately with permanent recordings of conversations. The space is still in its early stages, the company said.
In the shift towards more private communication, Twitter has to strike a balance between monitoring and limiting abusive content with the privacy of its users. When people are engaged in more intimate conversations and are not posting publicly, it is difficult to root out toxic posts and lies in social media services.
Twitter said that it is providing users with more tools to report harmful or abusive content, among other solutions.
“There are a ton of things we’re doing behind the scenes, expanding our rules and trying to stop abuse and harassment,” said Twitter product manager Christine Su. He said that more than half of the tweets that break the rules are removed before reporting to the company.