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Twitter slows the rollout of its disappearing message feature, Fleets, amid tech issues and privacy concerns

Business Insider logo Business Insider 11/19/2020 kshalvey@businessinsider.com (Kevin Shalvey)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey REUTERS/Anushree Fadnav © Provided by Business Insider Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey REUTERS/Anushree Fadnav
  • Twitter on Wednesday said its launch of Fleets, a disappearing-message feature, was having performance and stability problems.
  • Many users won't get Fleets "for a few more days," the company said.
  • Users have raised privacy concerns, saying the feature encouraged harassment. Some Twitter users were able to send Fleets to people whose direct messages were closed.
  • A Twitter spokeswoman told Bloomberg on Thursday that the company was working to fix privacy issues. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Twitter on Wednesday said it was slowing down its rollout of Fleets, a 24-hours-and-its-gone messaging feature announced Tuesday, because of tech issues. 

Disappearing posts like Fleets, named for "fleeting thoughts," aren't a new concept. Snapchat pioneered them when it launched in 2011. In the years since, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn have all introduced similar features called "stories."

Twitter has been testing its feature in some markets since March, and began rolling it out worldwide on Tuesday. On Wednesday, users raised concerns about whether Fleets "encouraged harassment" because "there will be no public record of bad behaviour," per the BBC.

Others have raised privacy issues. Some Twitter users were able to send Fleets to people whose direct messages were closed, and others were able to tag people who'd blocked them, per the BBC report, published a few hours before Twitter announced the slowdown.

A Twitter spokeswoman told Bloomberg on Thursday that the company was working to fix privacy issues. 

Others reported that they had been able to "fleet" banned URLs and election misinformation.

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