Twitter Shutting Down Fleets Less Than a Year After Launch

Twitter announced Wednesday that it will be shutting down Fleets, its vanishing post format, which debuted last November. The feature will be gone on August 3.


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Twitter will be shutting down Fleets due to low use, less than a year after launching the vanishing post feature.

The social media platform announced Wednesday that Fleets, which debuted last November, will disappear for good on August 3. In its place, users will instead only see active Spaces — Twitter’s live audio chat rooms — at the top of their timelines. 

“We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts,” Ilya Brown, VP of product at Twitter, wrote in a blog post Wednesday. “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.”

Twitter launched Fleets just eight months ago after testing the product in a handful of markets. The feature, which appeared prominently at the top of the app, let people share posts that disappeared after 24 hours, a format invented by Snapchat and later copied and further popularized by Facebook’s stable of apps, including Instagram

The shutdown of Fleets is a standard part of Twitter’s product development cycle, according to Brown. “If we’re not evolving our approach and winding down features every once in a while — we’re not taking big enough chances,” he wrote.

“We’re evolving what Twitter is, and trying bigger, bolder things to serve the public conversation,” Brown continued. “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. 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.”

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