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Twitter Adds #Fleets and #Spaces to Platform, Countering Instagram’s Recent Changes

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(Image via 9to5Mac.com)
(Image via 9to5Mac.com)

After months of worldwide testing, Twitter has launched its new “Fleets” feature that was first announced earlier this year. Any Twitter user who uses the mobile app can now utilize the familiar disappearing messaging feature. Much like its other Stories-like counterparts, it will sit above the user’s main timeline.

What We Know:

  • The popular social media company is hopeful that the introduction of Fleets will help “reduce the pressure” of tweeting and allow its users to express more casual thoughts and feelings without the nagging concern of having many retweets and likes. The company says both Android and IOS devices will start having access starting Tuesday, November 17th, and will continue to roll out in the coming days.

Design director Joshua Harris stated in a blog post “Through our tests in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea, we learned Fleets helped people feel more comfortable joining the conversation — we saw people with Fleets talk more on Twitter.”

  • Fleets are essentially a “Stories” clone that’s already been seen in Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Disappearing 24 hours after they’re created, Fleets will allow anyone to share text, posts responses to tweets, post videos, and overlay various other features. The move lights the way for future stickers and live broadcasting features.
  • Fleets’ apparent aim is to give Twitter users more digestible ways of consuming content. This year has proven to strain social media networks who are overwhelmingly flooded with ideas, opinions, and chatter. Fleets should theoretically help organize that content better. Though the feature is nothing new in the social media realm, it has the potential to change how we communicate online.
  • Of course, when adding a feature, new or not, there will be those that try to push the boundaries on what is posted on these Fleets. This will prompt the company to begin diving into some new moderation challenges, which will deal with inevitable topics of increasing harassment, the spread of false information, and other explicit content that may appear on Fleets.

  • The early days of Fleets will be crucial when determining if the new feature is something Twitter users want and will be used in any considerable way. Although Stories have taken over many of our favorite apps since Snapchat, who unintentionally redefined the social media game a few years ago, it’s changed how many influencers and brands are marketing themselves. Bigger companies have benefitted from this boom, but as it’s been observed with other Stories clones such as Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn, Fleets may also die off.
  • Along with Fleets, Twitter also announced “Spaces,” virtual rooms where people can engage in real-time and have audio conversations, much like the startup that appeared earlier this year called Clubhouse.

Many avid users question whether the features are essential for this particular platform. Still, most agree that the less stressful nature of just putting one’s thoughts out there without popularity pressure could mean a healthier communication environment. This is especially true during times where political figures use the platform to spout factual and non-factual remarks alike.

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Javier Garay is a digital intern with Unmutedco. He graduated from the University of North Georgia with a Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Film/Digital Media with a concentration in Media Studies. He is a contributor and editor for Black News Alerts (BNA), a BNA and BossFM social media contributor, and is the lead of the BNA Daily Podcast Team.

Entertainment

Former NFL Champ Nate Burleson joins CBS Mornings

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Former NFL player Nate Burleson has officially made his hosting debut on the newly branded morning talk show, CBS Mornings.

What We Know:

  • It was announced earlier this month that Burleson would replace Anthony Mason. Previously Mason joined Gayle King and Tony Doukoupil as host of the former CBS This Morning.  The show was rebranded in tandem to the relocation of their set to Times Square and Burleson joining the cast.
  • Since 2017, former NFL player Burleson has been the host of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network and has served as an analyst on The NFL Today on CBS. Burleson will continue his role on The NFL Today.

  • Burleson is the second former NFL player to join a network morning TV show, with Michael Strahan playing a major role as a co-host on ABC‘s Good Morning America.

Burleson credits Michael Strahan as the ‘blueprint’ for his career path, explaining, “He’s one of those individuals that I took a liking to once I retired because he rewrote the blueprint. I don’t want to say that he is the blueprint, because there has been plenty of players that have transitioned out of the game into TV. There have been African American men and women before him that have done the same thing, but he is a guy that has shown me the lay of the land, especially being a transplant from the West Coast to now New York.”

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Crime

Classes canceled at Howard University as US Government investigates ransomware cyberattack

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Howard University officials along with leading cyber experts are trying to assess what has been compromised in an active ransomware, cyberattack on the HBCU campus. Officials have deemed the attack criminal.

What We Know:

  • Monday, the university issued a statement to faculty and students that “the service disruption was caused by a ransomware cyberattack against the university.”
  • Classes have been canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Students have been notified that online and hybrid classes will remain canceled and only essential staff will be allowed on campus. All in-person undergraduate, graduate, professional, and clinical experiential courses will resume as scheduled on Wednesday.
  • A ransomware attack can be triggered by simple, everyday activity. Opening a unintended link inside of can lead to a cyberattack.  Computer, tablet and phone users are encouraged to change their passwords and security questions regularly.

Howard University is home to several notable high profile Black alumni such as Chadwick Boseman and Phylicia Rashad.

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Headlines

Polo G Reportedly Arrested in Los Angeles on Concealed Weapon Charge

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Polo G was arrested on in Los Angeles on Monday, TMZ reports.

What We Know:

According to the outlet, Polo G was arrested after police allegedly found a concealed firearm on the Hall of Fame rapper, which TMZ points out is a felony. The supposed discovery of the firearm occurred when a vehicle Polo G was a passenger in was stopped.

It’s currently unclear why the vehicle was pulled over in the first place but it was reported that a male juvenile was also detained during the stop.

Polo was similarly arrested while he was in Miami for his Hall of Fame album release party. The arrest, which took place back in June, resulted in the rapper getting hit with charges of of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest with violence, and criminal mischief. The rapper was also a passenger in a vehicle at the time of that arrest.

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