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Twitter retires Fleets feature

The micro-blogging site has decided to pull the plug on the service after it failed to gather enough traction
The Fleets option on Twitter will go off on August 3 and will be replaced by Twitter Spaces.

Mathures Paul   |   Published 18.07.21, 10:09 PM

Twitter Fleets was meant to be a function to take on the likes of Facebook but Twitter has decided to pull the plug on the service after it failed to gather enough traction. Launched only some months ago, Fleets is a way for users to post text, photos and videos that go poof after 24 hours. The concept is nothing new; Snapchat had introduced it and Facebook copied it.

Ilya Brown, Twitter’s vice-president of product has said in a blog post: “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.”

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The purpose of Fleets was to make users post more content on Twitter. But that didn’t happen. “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,” Brown said.

But the end of Fleets doesn’t mean the top space on the Twitter app will go vacant. On August 3, when Fleets ends, the space will be used by, well, Spaces, which is Twitter’s live audio chat rooms. “And the composer for traditional tweets will be updated with more camera editing features from Fleets, like text-formatting and GIF stickers over photos.”

Fleets is not the first feature that Twitter has dropped. In 2015, the company had acquired Periscope, an app that allowed users to live stream themselves onto Twitter. But it had a short life. Then there was the other Twitter acquisition, Vine, an app where users could share six-second videos of themselves and it came much before TikTok.

According to The World Street Journal, for the March-ended quarter, Twitter said it had 199 million daily active users, while Facebook reported roughly 1.88 billion and Snap said it had 280 million.



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