Twitter permanently scraps Fleets — its short-lived disappearing story feature

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Twitter permanently scraps Fleets — its short-lived disappearing story feature
RIP Twitter Fleets.Twitter
  • Twitter Fleets will no longer be available from August 3 onwards.
  • The decision to discontinue Fleets was because it didn’t attract new users as expected.
  • Twitter launched Fleets last year for people who are anxious about tweeting to still have a way to express themselves on the platform.
Twitter is pulling the plug on Fleets, its Snapchat-like ephemeral stories which has turned out to be one of the most copied features across social media platforms. It will not be available after August 3. This is possibly the shortest duration for a Twitter feature to exist on the app. Twitter started testing Fleets last year in March and made it widely available later in November.

The idea behind launching Fleets, according to Twitter, was for people who felt anxious tweeting and ephemeral stories could be a way for them to still talk on the micro-blogging site. It looks like people are still anxious as Twitter hasn’t seen an increase in the number of new people using Fleets.

Twitter also discovered that Fleets are actually used more by people who regularly tweet. And Fleets were just another way for them to amplify their tweets. This experiment has clearly not worked out, and not in a way that Instagram Stories did where Facebook successfully created a product within a product. Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, and it has 500 million users accessing Instagram Stories every day. While the two work hand in hand, one would notice that there are users who regularly upload Stories, and not post on their feed as much.

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What’s next?



Twitter found that people like “quickly sharing photos and videos” on Fleets so it plans on adding some features to the tweet composer and camera. These features include the full-screen camera, text formatting and GIF stickers. Twitter will start testing these updates soon. We’ll no longer see Fleets on top of the Twitter timeline but we will continue to see Spaces.

Discontinuing Fleets seems like a good decision for Twitter since the product isn’t getting the expected traction. Twitter is also experimenting with a bunch of other things like its Spaces, Tip Jar, Super Follows, and its paid subscription service Twitter Blue.

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