It did not work. Twitter has announced closing in the next few weeks of Fleets, one of its latest innovations, launched just over a year ago. “We will be eliminating Fleets on August 3 and we will continue to work on some new things. We’re sorry… or you’re welcome ”, reads the message shared with the more than 340 million active Twitter users.
Fleets was sold to the public as the version of Instagram stories on Twitter. They were publications that allowed to share text, photos, video and even tweets, with the promise that they would disappear from the platform after 24 hours. An idea originated by Snapchat in 2012 and replicated by almost all social networks, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The implementation of this novelty was part of an expansion plan with which the platform seeks to grow, conquer younger audiences and be more profitable. But Fleets has not been a winning strategy.
“We were hoping that Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter. But, since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we have not seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets in the way we expected, ”explains Ilya Brown, Product Manager at Twitter.
The closure of Fleets also meets a medal that multiple experts in social media They have repeated: not necessarily everything that works in one social network, triumphs in another. For example, “stories” are a hit on Instagram and a flop on Twitter. “The relevance of Twitter does not lie precisely in its audience volume compared to other platforms – Instagram has a billion users and Facebook, twice – but in the role it plays within the digital ecosystem that revolves around politics, the media and current news ”, explains David Álvarez, social media consultant.
But this is not the first time that Twitter has backtracked on a new product. In December 2020, the social network said goodbye to its highly acclaimed “quote tweets”, a tool that, although still active, since October 2020 began to be mandatory for anyone who wanted to retweet an article; the platform reminded him that “he should read it before” and forced him to write a sentence to the quoted tweet. Now, after acknowledging the failure of this measure – as the total number of retweets and tweets with quotes combined decreased by 20% – “citing tweets” has become optional.
Last March, the company also announced the closure of Periscope – its live-focused app – for a reason similar to Fleets: hardly anyone uses it anymore. “In the last two years, consumption has fallen and the maintenance of the application has turned out to be unsustainable,” they explained from Twitter.
Not all have been fired for the bluebird network. 2021 has been a year of great innovation. In recent months, the social network has launched the sound space Spaces —to compete with the success of Clubhouse—, it has bought the Revue tool —which allows its users to generate and send newsletters (newsletters, in English) – and is working on multiple projects such as Birdwatch, which will be a tool for its users to help combat misinformation, and Twitter Blue, a paid subscription for a price of $ 2.99 per month (2.46 euros ) that will provide the user with exclusive functions within the platform.