On November 17, 2020, Twitter introduced Fleets, “a new way to join the conversation.”  Fleets are “fleeting” tweets; ones that disappear from an account after 24 hours.  According to Twitter’s blog, the impetus behind the product iteration is that users feel that posting permanent Tweets presents too much social pressure.  Users can “Fleet” various media, including text, photos, video, and even other Tweets.  From there, users can add backgrounds and text to a Fleet such as emojis and (soon) stickers.

Advertisers can harness this technology much in the same way they utilize Instagram Stories, including in influencer campaigns and to engage in social moments.  Fleets can also be used to comment on other Tweets.  From an analytics perspective, Fleets allow users to see all those who view it, even if the viewer has a protected account.  Twitter announces that soon, live broadcasting will be available via Fleets.

Of course, Fleets must comply with Twitter’s Terms of Use and all applicable laws and guidance, such as the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsements and Testimonials Guides.  Advertisers can add text, such as #ad, clearly and conspicuously to a Fleet to disclose a material connection between an advertiser and the user who posted the Fleet.  And, though temporary, Fleets are still subject to the failsafe screen grab so all standard legal reviews and best practices should be followed.

Takeaway: New developments in social media provide exciting opportunities for marketers to engage audiences and showcase their products and services in new ways.  However, marketers may need reminding that the same legal requirements apply even when the marketing moment is fleeting.