Twitter Tests 24-Hour Disappearing Tweets Called Fleets and Gets Roasted for the Name

Twitter comms allegedly has a gay intern who tweeted, “Yes we know what fleets means.”

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First things first: Fleet is the brand name of the most widely used packaged enema. Now that we have that cleared up, it’s easy to understand why Twitter’s Wednesday morning announcement regarding the platform’s new disappearing tweets—called, yes, Fleets—resulted in awed responses from users.

The 24-hour disappearing tweets, similar to the way Stories operate on Instagram and Facebook, are being beta-tested in Brazil. “[Fleets are] a new way to start conversations from your fleeting thoughts,” wrote Twitter group product manager Mo Aladham in a blog post for Twitter Brazil.

“People have told us in early research that because Fleets disappear, they feel more willing to share casual, everyday thoughts,” Aladham wrote. “We hope that people who don’t usually feel comfortable tweeting use Fleets to share musings about what’s on their mind.”

In a Twitter thread, product lead Kayvon Beykpour showed how Fleets work. Like tweets, they are text-first but allow for the addition of things like photos and GIFs. Unlike tweets, they can’t be shared, don’t show up on timelines, and responses in the form of likes are sent directly to the author’s DMs.

The naming of the new product caused Twitter users to fly into a virtual frenzy over whether or not the company was aware of the enema connection. As Fleet has especially high brand recognition in the LGBTQ community, many users suggested that queer Twitter employees must have been in on the joke.

Turns out, Twitter is in on the joke. After about an hour of being solidly roasted by LGBTQ users, the company’s communications team tweeted a response.

Adweek requested an interview with the gay intern in question—but received an email with three laughing face emojis in a row in response. Adweek also reached out to Prestige Brands, which manufactures Fleet enemas and suppositories, to ask whether the new Twitter product was potentially viewed as trademark infringement, but did not receive an immediate response.

Twitter did not confirm when the Fleets feature will come to the U.S., but explained that Brazil was chosen for the beta launch because it is “one of Twitter’s most conversational countries.”

“From the test, we’ll learn how adding a new mode of conversation changes the way you interact and if it allows you to share what you’re thinking more comfortably,” Aladham wrote.

One thing we can agree on: Both types of Fleet are intended for one-time use, and shouldn’t be shared. Anything else would be a public health concern.

@MaryEmilyOHara Mary Emily O'Hara is a diversity and inclusion reporter. They specialize in covering LGBTQ+ issues and other underrepresented communities.