After Less Than a Year, Twitter is Retiring its Stories-Like 'Fleets' Option

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Social Media Today 15 July, 2021 - 02:33am 7 views

Are fleets going away?

The social media platform said Wednesday that it is ending its Fleets feature, where users can share text, photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, similar to rival Snapchat, due to the lack of new user engagement. Fleets, which debuted last November, will disappear for good on Aug. 3. USA TODAYTwitter's disappearing tweets feature Fleets is going away for good soon

In a surprising about turn, Twitter has announced that it's retiring Fleets, its own take on the Stories format, after less than a year of its existence.

As noted by Twitter, Fleets will be around here for two more weeks, then they'll be no more, with Twitter instead looking to shift the focus onto its audio Spaces tool instead.

As explained by Twitter:

Last month, when Twitter launched its initial test of Fleets ads, I noted that it was difficult to know whether the option would be worthwhile for brands, because Twitter hadn't provided any official data on Fleets usage.

As it turns out, there was a reason for that.

The closest we ever got to any insight into Fleets use was via the company's most recent earnings call in late April, in which Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to an investor question about the performance of Fleets, explaining that:

I guess it eventually learned that no one else really cared too much about Fleets, with Twitter noting today that Fleets are mostly being used by people "who are already Tweeting in order to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others". So it's basically being used as a free amplification channel, and not really adding to the broader tweet experience.

Given this, it's good to see Twitter taking decisive action, while Twitter also notes that it'll be taking the lessons that it's learned from Fleets and applying them into new areas.

Among these new elements will likely be updated camera options to better enable full-screen visuals, and full-screen ad formats, while Twitter also says that it'll use the top of the timeline space to further promote in-progress audio Spaces, as it looks to capitalize on audio engagement.

So you'll still see those profile bubbles along the top bar, they just won't be Fleets anymore.

It's interesting to also note that, over the past couple of weeks, Twitter has experimented with showing users Fleets from users that they don't follow, and highlighting related Fleets when you expand certain tweets. As it turns out, these may have been last-ditch efforts to either save Fleets, or to get more usage data for its future projects.

Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour has taken a philosophical approach to the demise of the option, noting that the decision to retire Fleets reflects the company's ambitious approach to product development. 

[Insert final 'Fleeting moment' joke here]

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Twitter kills Fleets - its rival to Snapchat - after admitting no one used it

Daily Mail 16 July, 2021 - 08:00am

By Dan Avery and Jonathan Chadwick For Mailonline

Twitter has announced it's shutting down Fleets, the disappearing-tweet feature it launched last year to compete with Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

The company will pull the plug on the option on August 3 after it failed to gain traction with users.

Fleets' time on the platform was short-lived: Twitter began testing the feature in March 2020 and rolled it out globally in November of that year.

It had just begun testing advertising within the feature last month.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Ilya Brown, Twitter's head of product, brand and video ads, said users hadn't taken to the option the way the company had predicted.

'We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts,' Brown said. 

'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.'

Scroll down for video 

Twitter will pull the plug on its 'disappearing tweet' feature, Fleets, on August 3, just eight months after it launched globally.  'We haven't seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped,' said Twitter's Ilya Brown

Brown said the company is always trying to improve and some updates 'are speculative and won't work out.'

'We're evolving what Twitter is, and trying bigger, bolder things to serve the public conversation,' he added.

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

Available for iOS and Android devices, Fleets – a portmanteau of 'fleeting' and 'tweet' – couldn't be retweeted or receive public responses, but instead had to be interacted with through Direct Messages.

Twitter announced the feature's termination in a series of tweets on Wednesday

Followers could reply to Fleets by sending a private Direct Message, but only if they followed each other or the account holder had their Direct Messages set to open.

The feature, which was successfully trialed in Brazil and other countries before going worldwide, gave users the option to tweet about things in a more private way, with the idea it would cut back on harassment by strangers on the platform.

In trials, Fleets seemed to make people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings.

Twitter executives admitted at launch that the format 'may sound familiar', referring to Snapchat, which spearheaded the art of disappearing messages, and Instagram, which followed suit in with Stories 2016.

Fleets was Twitter's attempt at competing with Snapchat and Instagram Stories. It gave users the option to comment in a more private way, sharing casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings

Twitter users could choose to post photos, videos and reactions to Fleets 

In November 2020, Facebook-owned WhatsApp also launched 'disappearing messages' that vanish from chats after seven days.

The news of Fleets' demise comes one day after Twitter rolled out a new feature allowing users to choose who can reply to a tweet even after it's been sent.

The San Francisco-based media giant has been experimenting with its reply control function at least since May 2020.

Now all users can select who can reply to their live tweets—people specifically tagged in a tweet, the user's followers, or any Twitter user.

People who can't reply will still be able to view, retweet, retweet with Comment, and 'like' posts.

The company described the reply control settings as transforming Twitter threads into 'conversations' that would enable users to 'feel safer Tweeting and have more meaningful conversations.'

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That Was Fleeting: Twitter Kills off Ephemeral Messages

Snopes.com 16 July, 2021 - 08:00am

Twitter is disappearing its disappearing tweets, called fleets, after they didn’t catch on.

The company began testing tweets that vanish after 24 hours last March in Brazil. Fleets were designed to allay the concerns of new users who might be turned off by the public and permanent nature of normal tweets.

“However, we haven’t seen an increase in the amount of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped,” Twitter said in a statement Wednesday. “So as of August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter.”

Kayvon Beykpour, head of consumer product at Twitter, stressed that this is part of how the company works.

“(Big) bets are risky and speculative, so by definition a number of them won’t work,” he tweeted. “If we’re not having to wind down features every once in a while, then it would be a sign that we’re not taking big enough swings.”

Fleets are reminiscent of Instagram and Facebook “stories” and Snapchat’s snaps, which let users post short-lived photos and messages. Such features are increasingly popular with social media users looking for smaller groups and and more private chats. But people use Twitter differently than Facebook, Instagram or messaging apps — it’s more of a public conversation and a way to stay up to date with what’s going on. Fleets, it turns out, did not make sense.

There was also a matter of the name. Called fleets because they were fleeting, the word is also a brand name for an enema — something many people pointed out on Twitter when the feature launched.

In a tweet announcing the decision, Twitter wrote “we’re sorry or you’re welcome, acknowledging mixed user reactions to the feature.

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Twitter is killing its Instagram Stories-like “Fleets” from next month

XDA Developers 16 July, 2021 - 08:00am

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Last year Twitter rolled out Fleets, the company’s take on disappearing text and media posts that appear in the top row in the Twitter app. But after a short stay, Twitter is now pulling the plug on the feature as most Twitter users aren’t using it.

On Wednesday, Twitter announced that come August 3, Fleets will no longer be part of the Twitter timeline. Twitter Spaces will continue to appear in the same spot, though. Twitter says it’s looking to incorporate some of the features of Fleets — such as the full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers — into the Twitter composer. The decision to shut down the service comes just a month after Twitter started testing ads between Fleets.

we’re removing Fleets on August 3, working on some new stuff

— Twitter (@Twitter) July 14, 2021

In a blog post, Twitter explains why they’re killing the service in mere eight months since its launch. Twitter says they introduced Fleets as “a low-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts” on the platform. The feature was aimed at lowering anxieties that hold some people back from tweeting. However, the company found that users mainly used Fleets to amplify their own tweets and talk directly with others.

Twitter also admits that the feature wasn’t that popular among users.

“Since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets as we hoped,” wrote Ilya Brown, Twitter’s Vice President of Product, in the blog post.

Twitter killing Fleets doesn’t come as a surprise. When it launched last year, many Twitter users were quick to dismiss the concept, and during its short life, it was hardly used by anyone except for a tiny group of hardcore Twitter fans.

What are your thoughts on Twitter axing Fleets? Are you going to miss them? Let us know in the comments below!

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Twitter is killing off Fleets, just nine months after its global launch

Neowin 16 July, 2021 - 08:00am

Back in March 2020, Twitter began testing ephemeral content in the form of Fleets. This was similar to Instagram and WhatsApp's Stories and Status features respectively where content posted in these spaces automatically disappears after 24 hours. In June 2020, it launched the feature in India, before globally rolling it out in November of the same year. Now, just nine months after this launch, Fleets is being killed off.

Twitter says that Fleets was not being used as intended. It was aimed at facilitating users to share content in a "lower-pressure" environment, but it was instead heavily used by people who are already active on the platform and utilized it to promote their tweets and directly engage with their followers. As such, Fleets will be shut down on August 3, 2021.

That said, the failed experiment has brought some valuable insights for the company. It has noticed that people share a lot of media content in Fleets, so the same capabilities will be tested and eventually integrated with the Tweet composer too. These include full-screen camera, text formatting, and GIF stickers. The top part of the Twitter page will not host Fleets after August 3, but it will still be available for live audio conversations. Finally, the company will also be exploring the impact of full-screen vertical ads introduced in Fleets. Twitter says:

We’re evolving what Twitter is, and trying bigger, bolder things to serve the public conversation. A number of these updates, like Fleets, are speculative and won’t work out. We’ll be rigorous, evaluate what works, and know when to move on and focus elsewhere. If we're not evolving our approach and winding down features every once in a while – we're not taking big enough chances. We’ll continue to build new ways to participate in conversations, listening to feedback and changing direction when there may be a better way to serve people using Twitter.

Twitter clearly wants its users to engage more on the platform. It will be interesting to see what other features are in the pipeline when it comes to this space.

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Twitter kills Fleets, its version of Stories - GSMArena.com news

GSMArena.com 16 July, 2021 - 08:00am

Remember when Snapchat created the Stories format and then every company under the sun copied it? Well, as it turns out, some were more successful than others at that. Facebook's Instagram, for example, overtook Snapchat a long time ago and it's not looking back.

Twitter, on the other hand? It just announced that it's killing Fleets. What do you mean you don't know what Fleets are? They're Twitter's Stories. Or, rather, were. Not anymore. In an interesting twist, it turns out that some social networks may be more fitting for the Stories format than others, and Twitter ain't it, as they say.

People weren't using Fleets, and so on August 3 Fleets will forever die. Twitter says it will use its learnings from Fleets to "focus on creating other ways for people to join the conversation and talk about what's happening in their world", whatever that means.

The company is keen on exploring "more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter". Interestingly, some features from Fleets are making it to other parts of the experience - such as the full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers, which are headed to the Tweet composer, for better or worse.

I feel like Twitter should've kept improving this feature rather than discarding it completely, I've seen many people using it so it's not like it was not popular or anything.

Never heard of Fleets before and as i clearly see i dont need anymore cuz they are gone.

Fleets wasn't smooth experience tbh like Instagram stories

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Farewell, Fleets – we barely knew you

The Irish Times 16 July, 2021 - 08:00am

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Fleets was Twitter’s answer to Instagram and Facebook Stories: time-limited posts that disappear after 24 hours. That, in turn, was ”inspired by” Snapchat. Share a “fleeting” thought, photo or video with your followers, and in 24 hours it will disappear from view.

Twitter hoped it would encourage people to engage more with the platform, as the ephemeral nature of the posts meant they couldn’t come back to bite you in years to come (unless there were screenshots, naturally). Publish and be damned – for 24 hours at least.

The experiment was a failure. It turns out that the people who were mostly using Fleets were already active on Twitter, and were using the feature to amplify their regular tweets.

Twitter, to its credit, is admitting defeat rather than continuing to try to force Fleets on us, and says it will learn from it as it develops new features.

“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,” the company’s head of product, brand and video ads Ilya Brown wrote in a blog post. “ 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.”

To add insult to injury, Twitter Support tweeted about the decision, but didn’t put it in a fleet. Twitter has already moved on; we should too.

As of August 3rd, Fleets will disappear from the Twitter app. Instead, Twitter will use that space to highlight another new feature: Spaces, its Clubhouse-style audio chats. How long that will last is anyone’s guess, but as Twitter has demonstrated, features that don’t work will be quickly shown the door.

“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,” Twitter’s blog post said.

If this reporter could offer a suggestion, perhaps Twitter might come up with a more effective way to stop people abusing its platform. While the company has brought in a number of measures to try to address the problem, the fact remains that if you scratch the surface, abusive content lurks beneath.

Those measures have had an impact on the volume of content Twitter is removing. In the second half of 2020, Twitter took down more content for violating its terms of use than it ever has before. Almost 1 million accounts were suspended over the six-month period, while more than 1.1 million accounts were sanctioned for posting content that breached the rules.

And still, it is not enough. Stamping out abusive behaviour on social media is a difficult task Like all social media, Twitter has an image problem. As long as it is perceived as an unsafe place for certain groups, no amount of disappearing tweets and live audio rooms will persuade them to engage with the platform.

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Memes and jokes take over as Twitter retires Fleets feature

The Indian Express 16 July, 2021 - 01:25am

Microblogging site Twitter on July 14 announced they are shutting down the fleets feature on August 3, eight months after it was launched.

The platform, in a blog post on Wednesday, said the full-screen tweets feature that would appear on top of the Twitter timeline, and expire after 24 hours, will not be available anymore.

we’re removing Fleets on August 3, working on some new stuff

— Twitter (@Twitter) July 14, 2021

Fleets closure comes just a month after Twitter started testing advertisements on the feature. Starting August 3, users will instead just see active Spaces — Twitter’s live audio chat rooms — at the top of their timelines.

“We had planned for Fleets to help people feel comfortable joining the conversation in a low-pressure way, but it turns out Fleets were mainly used by those tweeting the most. So now we’re ready to explore other ways for people to share on Twitter,” a tweet by Twitter Support read.

We had planned for Fleets to help people feel comfortable joining the conversation in a low-pressure way, but it turns out Fleets were mainly used by those Tweeting the most.

So now we’re ready to explore other ways for people to share on Twitter. (2/4)

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 14, 2021

Memes took over Twitter right after the announcement. While many expressed disappointment, others came up with suggestions to replace the fleets feature.

Take a look at some of the reactions here:

Twitter deleting fleets means doggo pictures go on timeline pic.twitter.com/S6i7pjScpE

— A. Walker Stewart🦔 (@AnErrorOfComedy) July 14, 2021

I’ll show myself out 😁#TwitterFleets https://t.co/wHzBwu4nSJ

— Nicky Veitch (@NickyVeitch) July 14, 2021

When Twitter takes Fleets away pic.twitter.com/K5Yze2GNVg

— TheNiceCast (@TheNiceCast_) July 14, 2021

i hear twitter fleets died, pic.twitter.com/oJlxcWdzks

— mike taddow (@MikeTaddow) July 14, 2021

Reaction to twitter axing fleets. pic.twitter.com/OfujhvDrjV

— ETHICAL STALKER (@PsychographEd) July 14, 2021

Twitter is shutting down Fleets ᵃⁿᵈ ʳᵉᵖˡᵃᶜᶦⁿᵍ ᶦᵗ ʷᶦᵗʰ ˢᵖᵃᶜᵉˢ pic.twitter.com/K5Gt1idp70

— adam (@adamjmoussa) July 14, 2021

Fleets lovers looking at Twitter right now: pic.twitter.com/3YvXDYQNX3

— In My Mind (@MeAloneInMyMind) July 14, 2021

Social Media Managers hearing that Twitter is getting rid of Fleets: pic.twitter.com/4u7nhzrBpg

— Jon-Stephen Stansel (@jsstansel) July 14, 2021

— The Witty Man (@thewittyman1710) July 15, 2021

Twitter: “we’re getting rid of fleets”

literally everyone on twitter: pic.twitter.com/5PPsv1CBXK

— J. R. R. Jokin (@joshcarlosjosh) July 14, 2021

Twitter removing the #Fleets feature.

Meanwhile me who had no idea it even existed : pic.twitter.com/Jgcxp6T1WI

— Riddhi Speaks (@Riddhi_Speaks) July 15, 2021

Twitter removing #Fleets from 3 august.#Fleets rn : pic.twitter.com/AO1IA7FjBC

— Riddhi Speaks (@Riddhi_Speaks) July 15, 2021

Twitter had introduced Fleets back in November 2020. The feature lets users post full-screen photos, videos, and tweet reactions that disappear after 24 hours. Fleets came years after Snapchat and Facebook introduced similar options for their users.

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Twitter shuts down Fleets feature after just eight months – some people still don’t know what it is

indy100 15 July, 2021 - 08:04am

Twitter has announced it will will be axing its “Fleets” feature from the app, just eight months after first launching it.

Fleets were launched back in November 2020 as a rival to Instagram Stories and Snapchat where users can post something on their profile that disappears after 24 hours.

In a blog post on their website, Twitter’s head of product, brand & video ads Ilya Brown described Fleets as a “a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts.”

But he added that Twitter was getting rid of the feature because they “haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped.”

The company tweeted the announcement on their official account yesterday:

The sassy announcement hinted at the mixed reactions about the feature when it was first launched - with some remarking on how little it was used.

Though some admired the social media company for admitting that the tool failed.

While others pointed out the irony of how “fleeting” Fleets really were.

Some said they were glad to see the back of the feature as they didn’t use it themselves.

Critics of the tool put its failure down to it being too similar to competitors Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

Elsewhere, a few people admitted that they still don’t know what Fleets are (suppose they don’t need to know about it now...)

Twitter users have until August 3rd to make the most of Fleets. After this date people will instead see Twitter’s live audio chat rooms, Spaces, at the top of their timelines.

“We’ll continue to build new ways to participate in conversations, listening to feedback and changing direction when there may be a better way to serve people using Twitter,” Brown added at the end of the blog post.

Twitter Fleets to Shut Down on August 3: Here Are Other Features It Killed

Gadgets 360 15 July, 2021 - 02:03am

Twitter on Wednesday announced that it will shut down its ephemeral Fleets feature on August 3, eight months after it was launched. The micro-blogging platform says the feature had failed to gain traction among users. The closure of Fleets comes just a month after Twitter had started testing advertisements on the feature. The company said that it didn't see an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets as they hoped. “Using our learnings from Fleets, we'll focus on creating other ways for people to join the conversation and talk about what's happening in their world,” it said.

However, this is not the first time when the San Francisco-based company has decided to shut down a feature, and that too in such a short time. In fact, Twitter is not alone there. Even Google has, over the years, discontinued products that either bombed completely or were proving to be too much to carry. For instance, in August last year, the tech giant killed Google Play Music, its music library and audio streaming service.

Fleets: Twitter announced through a blog post on Wednesday that starting August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter. The reason we say Fleets was similar to Instagram Stories is that not only could users share their tweets there but also a screenshot, a photograph, or a video from their gallery. The Fleet, much like Instagram Stories, disappeared after 24 hours. Fleets will no longer be available on the top bar of the Twitter app from August 3, but it will continue to feature Spaces as and when somebody you follow hosts one.

Periscope: In December 2020, Twitter announced that it would shut down Periscope, the live-streaming app, after the feature witnessed a decline in usage in the past two years and increasing supporting-costs. In a blog post, the company said that the product had been in “an unsustainable maintenance-mode state” for a while. “Leaving it in its current state isn't doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter,” the company said. The product was then discontinued in March 2021.

Twttr: Twitter decided to turn off threaded replies, a feature it was experimenting with for a while, in December 2020. Following the user feedback, the platform decided to discontinue the product and said it would work on other methods to improve conversations.

API: In August 2018, the company announced that it was going to stop supporting Twitter for Apple Watch and Twitter for Mac, and replacing the previous Twitter for Windows app with Progressive Web App. Besides, the platform said they were removing support for some outdated developer tools. "We feel the best Twitter experience we can provide today is through our owned and operated Twitter for iOS and Android apps, as well as a desktop and mobile twitter.com," the company said back then in a blog post.

Twitter Moments: In October 2018, the micro-blogging site announced that users would no longer be able to create Moments within iOS and Android Apps, another feature they said that hadn't seen a lot of usages. A user could, however, still make Moments on the desktop and view it on iOS and Android devices.

On October 23, we're removing the ability to create Moments on the Twitter for iOS or Android apps. When features aren't used as often, we'll remove them, so we can focus on building other products you'll love.

Vine: In October 2015, Twitter announced through a blog post that it would shut down Vine, the video-sharing mobile app. The step was also taken to cut nine percent of its global workforce worldwide to keep costs down. Introduced in 2013, Vine allowed users to share small snippets of video that were six seconds or less in duration.

The company decided to discontinue the feature despite its popularity among the so-called ‘Vine Stars,' who had attracted millions of followers.

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