Twitter is giving up on Fleets nine months after rolling it out to everyone, saying the feature didn’t accomplish what the company hoped it would.
As of August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter.
Twitter launched Fleets in hopes that its ephemeral nature would encourage more people to “join the conversation.”
In other words, the company wanted to see a noticeable uptick in new users and increased activity among existing users.
Fleets accomplished neither of those goals, Twitter says:
“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.”
Those who gravitated toward using Fleets are people who were already active on Twitter, which is not who the company was targeting.
They mustn’t have been using it enough, however, if Twitter decided to shutter the feature.
“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.”
The Fleets experiment isn’t a total loss, as Twitter says it will put the lessons it learned toward building a better product.
What Did Twitter Learn From Fleets?
Twitter finally got the message that people enjoy sharing media, as most Fleets included photos and videos.
Soon, Twitter will test updates to the tweet composer that will make it more inviting for users to capture and share media.
The Tweet composer and camera will incorporate features from the Fleets camera, such as the full-screen viewfinder, text formatting, and GIF stickers.
Fleets allowed Twitter to test full-screen, vertical format ads for the first time. The company can use those learnings to inform the development of future ad products.
What Happens After August 3?
When Fleets is removed from Twitter on August 3 it will be replaced with 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.”
Since Fleets were designed to disappear after 24 hours, users won’t be losing access to any content they published via the Fleets composer.
Fleets is described by the company as a speculative feature that happened to not work out, though it’s worth mentioning Twitter’s own users predicted Fleets would fail before it even launched.
Though I doubt many would have predicted it would only last nine months.
Twitter says it will continue to take chances on building new features that encourages more users to participate.
Source: Twitter Blog