Twitter is killing its disappearing tweets feature called Fleets
In a tweet from its official handle, microblogging platform Twitter announced the retirement of Fleets. The feature displayed a row of fullscreen tweets at the top of a user's timeline that would disappear 24 hours after their creation. From August 3, Twitterati will just see active Spaces at the top of their timelines. The buttons will let them join ongoing real-time discussions as listeners.
Fleets was Twitter's take on Stories popularized by Snapchat, Facebook
Twitter rolled out Fleets to the masses just eight months ago. The feature was the platform's take on Stories originally introduced by Snapchat in 2013, subsequently mimicked by LinkedIn and Facebook-owned platforms, among others. However, the tweet format didn't see widespread adoption and usage from the platform's community. This led to its eventual shutdown in favor of Twitter's booming Clubhouse me-too called Spaces.
Twitter announced that Fleets will be unavailable from August 3
we're removing Fleets on August 3, working on some new stuff— Twitter (@Twitter) July 14, 2021
we're sorry or you're welcome
Twitter hoped to get more people tweeting with Fleets
Twitter hoped that Fleets would ease the pressure associated with making a permanent public post, thereby turning more passive consumers into active users who tweet. In a statement, Twitter's VP of product Ilya Brown said, "In the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven't seen an increase in the number of people joining the conversation as we hoped".
Twitter becomes first social media platform to abandon Stories concept
The discontinuation of Fleets makes Twitter the first social media giant to give up on the Stories-style concept. Twitter remained optimistic until last month when it introduced ads from select brands between tweets as an "experiment". The platform didn't specify if the fullscreen ads will continue to appear elsewhere in the app after Fleets is discontinued.
Winding down features indicative of risks platform is taking: Beykpour
Tweeting about the change, Twitter's head of product Kayvon Beykpour said that big bets are risky and speculative, so by definition, a number of them don't work. He added that if Twitter doesn't have to wind down features every once in a while, it would be a sign that the platform isn't "taking big enough swings".