Popular micro-blogging and social media platform, Twitter has shut down its fleet feature. This update comes just right after 8-months it was introduced to users. The disappearing tweet twitter dubbed as ‘Fleets,’ is similar to the ‘story’ feature its rival platform uses, such as Facebook, Instagram (the photo-sharing app), and Snapchat (the pioneer of this feature). This feature just like the regular tweet consists of texts, photos, and videos and allowed users to share tweets and pictures. Fleet was always available at the top of every user’s timeline and on the user’s profile. The company announced its plans to end Fleets in a blog post last month due to low usage amongst users. According to Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, the company started Fleets not to build a storage product within Twitter, “but to solve the problem of people not wanting to tweet because they appear to be staying around too long”.
Twitter began testing Fleets as far back as March 2020. The company thought through the Fleets, it might be able to drive users who were hesitant about collecting their stray thoughts into the platform’s semi-permanent format with a “lower-pressure” kind of a tweet. Many major social platforms have such form of disappearing content at the top as well, so it made sense that Twitter would give in to trial — but after eight months live, Twitter has finally decided to kill the feature. During the time that Fleets was available full-fledged, the micro-blogging site introduced multiple exciting features to it, including the possibility of adding GIFs, stickers, change the text color, and more.
Ilya Brown, Twitter’s head of product, brand, and video ads. said users hadn’t taken to the feature the way the company had initially predicted. Browns said ‘We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts’. He added ‘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 as we hoped.’
Brown said the micro-blogging and social media company is constantly trying to improve however 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,’ Brown added. ‘If we’re not evolving our approach and winding down features every once in a while – we’re not taking big enough chances.’
Interestingly the Fleet’s swift demise has apparently inspired more enthusiasm for the product than it previously did. Twitter’s tweet announcing the death of Fleets has somehow turned into an iconic enough moment, the company made it into a collectible hoodie that reads “We’re sorry or you’re welcome.” This is to ensure that Fleets will live on in our hearts until users inevitably forget they ever existed — perhaps the most fitting tribute of all. On its website, Twitter said, “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.” Twitter has been in the news severally in recent times, the most recent is Twitter finally adds Google and Apple for Third-Party sign-ins. Also recall in June, when the Federal Government made a decision to indefinitely suspend Twitter in Nigeria for deleting President Buhari’s seeming inciteful tweet.