Evan Spiegel and his partners first released an idea of an app called Picaboo as students at Stanford University in 2011. The mobile-based social media platform allowed users to send private photos and short-form videos to one another that would disappear after being viewed. First, questioned by Spiegel's classmates as to whether he just created a "sexting" app, Picaboo has since been renamed to what we know today as SnapChat. The mobile app has evolved greatly since its inception in 2011 and has emerged as one of the main platforms in today's social media landscape. Since Snap first released the original "Stories" concept, the short form, disappearing video design that allowed SnapChat to rise to prominence, the company's main competitors have looked to mirror the feature on their own platforms. Imitated versions of Snap's original concept can be seen today on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and WhatsApp. The feature has allowed these platforms to evolve and offer additional avenues for users to communicate with one another, create additional content, and add another medium for which they can communicate their brand. For the almighty bottom line, the feature allows for additional advertising opportunities for marketers, meaning more revenue for Google and Facebook. The success of Spiegel's "Stories" concept is now being imitated and tested by yet another social media giant, Twitter.
Long viewed as the 21st Century app for staying up to date with news updates and headlines, Twitter has been criticized by many in the tech and advertising space for failing to evolve as a social media platform since its inception. Even as attention to the app has increased over the past four years, Twitter has largely failed to capitalize on the advertising potential it has given its 330 million users. With the success that Stories has brought others, especially as social media is shifting further towards mobile vs. desktop, Twitter is now testing its own version of "Stories," which it calls "Fleets." The imitated concept will match a similar design that many are familiar with. Fleets is located at the top of the app above a user's feed in small circles showing the user's profile image. Once clicked on, the app will open the photo or video selected and appear full screen. Again, much like you see on the other social media platforms today. The release is currently being tested in India, Brazil, and Italy.
While Fleets isn't a novel idea, the new feature could prove to be a welcome opportunity for multifamily digital marketing and online advertising campaigns. Twitter's large user base provides great reach for multifamily marketers to advertise to prospective renters. Up to this point, however, Twitter has largely failed to make its platform a great option for multifamily marketing strategies. The introduction of Fleets could end up providing welcome revenue opportunities for Twitter and a new avenue for marketers to utilize creative, visual content for targeted marketing purposes.