Say goodbye to Fleets, a row of full-screen tweets at the top of the Twitter timeline that ends in 24 hours. The temporary tweet format closes due to low usage when it was widely published just eight months ago.
From August 3, instead, users will only see active Spaces – Twitter’s live voice chat rooms – at the top of their schedules. And the composer of traditional tweets is updated with more Fleets camera editing features, such as text formatting and GIFs on top of photos.
Twitter’s decision to blackmail fleets is not just an admission that the feature didn’t work, but that the company has still not figured out how to get people to tweet more. For years, Twitter has been working to get new users to post regularly and not just consume other people’s tweets. The fleets were shot using Stories, a popular form of social media invented by Snapchat and further recommended by Instagram, to reduce the pressure of tweets.
“We hoped the fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter,” Ilya Brown, product manager for Twitter, said in a statement. “But since the fleets were introduced to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with the fleets as we had hoped.”
The killing of the feature is now particularly abrupt as Twitter released it to everyone in November and began testing ads between fleets last month. At that time the company called the ads an experiment with a handful of advertisers. It is unclear whether these full-screen ads will appear in other parts of the app in the future.
“If we don’t develop our approaches and stop features every now and then – we don’t take big enough chances,” Brown said. “We will continue to build new ways to engage in conversations, listen to feedback and change direction, when Twitter can be a better way to serve people.”