(Reuters) - Twitter Inc <TWTR.N> said on Wednesday it was testing in Brazil a new type of tweet that disappears after 24 hours, similar to the stories feature popular on Snapchat <SNAP.N> and Facebook's <FB.O> photo-sharing app Instagram.
Called 'fleets', the vanishing messages can be viewed by tapping on a user's profile picture. They do not appear on the user's timeline or receive retweets, likes or public replies, Kayvon Beykpour, the company's product lead, said on Twitter. (http://bit.ly/2Tym9aw)
"We're hoping that Fleets can help people share the fleeting thoughts that they would have been unlikely to Tweet," Beykpour said.
The move comes nearly a year after Twitter's much larger social media competitor Facebook announced that it would shift focus toward building products that emphasize privacy and ephemerality, which it says users are gravitating toward.
Twitter has been rolling out new features aimed at making the platform more user-friendly in the past several months, but the company's growth has lagged behind rivals for years, leaving investors grumbling that it has failed to innovate or expand beyond its core platform.
Its shares fell last year when it disclosed that its platform experienced glitches that hindered its ability to target ads and share data with partners.
Activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp is now pushing for changes at the company, including the removal of its chief executive Jack Dorsey.
(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Christopher Cushing)