Twitter Says Goodbye to Fleets

The feature will disappear in August

Fans of Twitter’s disappearing “Fleets” will be dismayed to learn that the company will be discontinuing the feature early next month.

In a blog post announcing the disappearance of Fleets from the platform this afternoon, Twitter said, “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.  Because of this, on August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter.”

Twitter Says Goodbye to Fleets

Getty Images / zakokor

Introduced publicly last November (after a test run in March), Fleets were part of Twitter's efforts to address some of the reasons behind users’ hesitancy to leave a lasting digital footprint on the social media platform.

In a series of tweets announcing the feature’s launch last year, Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour said, “Over the last year, we’ve been working to understand and address the anxieties that hold people back from tweeting.” To address those concerns, the company launched Fleets as a way for users to express their perspectives without committing to a permanent tweet—instead, the messages disappeared after 24 hours, couldn’t receive public replies, and couldn’t be retweeted or liked.

"If we're not evolving our approach and winding down features every once in a while—we're not taking big enough chances."

Despite those efforts, the feature’s success on the app was, well, fleeting. 

According to the company’s blog post, “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.”

The company doesn’t seem to be particularly upset by the feature’s under-performance, noting that it plans to continue looking for new ways to address user’s needs on the platform. Those plans include testing new features like updates to the tweet composer, text formatting functions, a full-screen camera, and GIFs—all inspired by Fleets.

The company cautioned that those upcoming test features, like Fleets, might not be successful. Still, Twitter promised in its blog post to keep trying out new ideas, adding, “If we're not evolving our approach and winding down features every once in a while—we're not taking big enough chances.”

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