Twitter Fleets is Shutting DownBeginning on Aug. 3, Twitter users will just see active Spaces, which is Twitter’s live audio chat rooms, at the top of the timelines, according to CNBC. Traditional Twitter users will get more editing features from Fleets, like GIF stickers on photos and text-formatting on pictures once it is discontinued. Twitter’s decision to remove Fleets is not just an admission that the feature did not take off the way that it wanted it to. For years, Twitter has struggled to get new users to post regularly and not just retweet the posts of other users. This feature is Twitter’s answer to Stories, the popular social media format created by Snapchat and was further popularized by Instagram. Ilya Brown, Twitter’s vice president of product, said that they hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on the app. However, in the time since the Twitter Fleet feature was introduced, they have not seen an increase in the number of new users joining the conversation with Fleets as they hoped.
Fleets with Ads Will No Longer HappenRemoving the feature on the app is sudden, especially since Twitter just rolled it out last year, and as of June, it was announced that Twitter was testing ads between Fleets, according to The Verge. Twitter said that it was experimenting with a handful of advertisers at the time since the feature received a lot of attention when it was launched. Apparently, it was successful enough when it was launched that Twitter wanted to make money from it. Twitter senior product manager Justin Hoang and global product marketing manager Austin Evers wrote a post that Fleet ads are full-screen billboards for advertisers. The Fleet ads were supposed to be visible to a limited group of US users on Android and iOS. The ads support images, and videos were supposed to be 30 seconds long. It was initially planned that brands can add a swipe up option and access standard Twitter ad metrics, including profile visits, impressions, website visits, clicks, and other information. In April, Twitter reported that its ad revenue increased 32%, which is $899 million, and its total ad engagement rose 11%.
Expanding its ads beyond users’ timelines, where people can scroll past without engaging, seemed like the logical next step at the time. Especially since Instagram has had ads in its Stories since 2017 and TikTok began putting ads last month.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, said during April’s Q1 meeting with analysts that the social media company was still learning about who sues Fleets, according to Variety.
Dorsey said that Fleets was launched not to build a storage product within the app but to solve the problem of people not wanting to tweet because they don’t want to stay too long in the app.
Now that Fleets will be discontinued, Twitter has not announced a new feature that will take its place.
Written by Sophie Webster