Twitter (TWTR) launched its Fleets disappearing-message feature today. It also announced Spaces, a feature that allows users to participate in audio-based chat rooms. Each of these new services appears to be aimed at bringing popular features offered by social media competitors into the core Twitter application.
Fleets functions much like tweets, except this new category of messages will have a separate feed and disappear 24 hours after publication, making the new content category similar to disappearing posts offered on Snap's Snapchat platform and Facebook's Instagram. Spaces, which is drawing comparisons to Clubhouse's voice-chat app and has yet to be released, will allow users to join chat rooms and have audio conversations with other users.
Twitter announced Fleets in March, and the company is now rolling out the feature after months of testing in select markets. Management anticipates that the integration of Fleets into its core app will drive heightened engagement by encouraging more users to post content.
Twitter has a large user base (with 187 million monetizable daily active users in the third quarter), but the percentage of users who actively post content on the social media platform is relatively small. The company expects that users who might not otherwise post will be more likely to participate if they know that their content will not be stored on the platform forever.
The upcoming Spaces audio-chatroom feature looks like another attempt at bolstering Twitter's role as a communications platform. The company will begin limited testing of Spaces before the end of the year, and the announcement of the upcoming feature is another sign that Twitter is looking to expand its software offerings and bridge users to new services within its broader platform.