It’s rare for a major brand to admit that one of the things they launched was a flop. Normally, they just announce that they are archiving something, but they don’t actually say it is because it was not a success for their users. But basically, that’s what Twitter is saying when it discontinued one of its features introduced last year called Fleets. The feature allows you to post text, photos and videos that would disappear after 24 hours, your attempt to duplicate the success of Instagram Stories.
Twitter said that while initial testing saw Fleets as “liberating” for some users as the content was fleeting, they haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people posting to Twitter using the feature as expected. They also discovered that Fleets were being used by people who were already tweeting “to amplify their own tweets.” So even though they introduced the feature in late 2020, it will now be available discontinuing function before August 3.
But of course Twitter learned from their brief experience with Fleets and they say they will use them to create ways for new people to start tweeting and join the conversation. They will continue to study what is preventing some users from actually participating in the platform. They will also test incorporating some elements of the Fleets composer, such as the full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers.
One of the things that bothered non-Fleet users was that it occupied a privileged place in the Twitter space. The circles were at the top of the timeline and now that it’s gone, Twitter said they’ll replace it with Spaces if someone you’re following is introducing or speaking in an ongoing live audio conversation. They’ll also see how the full-screen portrait ads fared and see if there’s anything in there that they can incorporate.
Did you use Fleets during your few months of being on the Twitter platform? Will you miss it now that it will disappear soon? Well, you have until August 3 if you want to play ephemeral content on Twitter.