Twitter is saying goodbye to Fleets, its take on the popular Story format across most popular social networks, after launching the feature just nine months ago.
In a recent announcement, the company said it would stop supporting Fleets as of August 3, 2021.
As Twitter explained, it had hoped that Fleets would help drive new engagement and new users. From what they’ve seen, that just wasn’t happening.
“We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. We hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter.
“But, in the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped.”
That isn’t to say the feature wasn’t being used. Instead, the people who took to using Twitter Fleets were already active and engaged on the platform before the feature was rolled out.
“Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others.
“We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter. And for the people who already are Tweeting, we’re focused on making this better for you.”
It is somewhat surprising to see a company be so candid about an underwhelming launch, though Twitter isn’t treating the shutdown of Fleets as a loss. Instead, they say they will apply what they’ve learned towards future improvements.
What Comes Next
When Fleets are removed from the platform, Twitter will use its current place to highlight live audio streams and chats through Spaces.
“The top of the timeline continues to be a good spot to highlight what’s happening right now so you’ll still see Spaces there when someone you follow is hosting or speaking in a live audio conversation.”
There’s no need to worry about lost content, however, since Fleets were already designed to disappear after 24 hours.