Popular microblogging platform, Twitter, has announced that it is removing Fleets, its vanishing tweet feature similar to Facebook and Instagram stories.
According to the company, the feature which was launched to the general public about nine months ago will be removed completely on August 3.
Twitter explained that it’s doing away with the feature due to lack of activity specifically, among the more hesitant Twitter users.
Twitter’s head of consumer product, Kayvon Beykpour, added that the company would be building other products, but didn’t reveal any details as to what it will be.
Back in March 2020 when Twitter first started testing Fleets in limited markets, some users did not appreciate the new feature. This prompted the trending of the #RIPTwitter hashtag.
Some users complained that the new feature would make the platform too similar to Facebook and other social media platforms.
Some others expressed that adding stories removed Twitter’s originality, which could signal their ultimate demise of the microblogging platform.
Despite the outcry, the initial rollout of the feature looked promising. The surge of usage caused fleets to crash several times when it became available globally.
However, with the company planning to shut it down, it very probable that in the long run, most users weren’t very interested in Fleets, and those that were are already pretty active on the platform.
Capturing the silent users
Analyzing the reason for Twitter’s U-turn goes back to the initial launch. When the company launched Fleets, it said it was because some people weren’t tweeting as much as others because the permanent format of Twitter put them off.
At the time, the feature was proving popular on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
However, it appears that its initial bet didn’t work out and it isn’t so surprising viewing the reception it got and the technical glitches that followed.
Despite the drawbacks, Twitter is not closing the door to trying more experiments. Beykpour says the company will be taking more swings with new features in the future.
“Big bets are risky and speculative, so by definition a number of them won’t work. 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.”Twitter
Going forward, Spaces, Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse which currently sits in the same strip at the top of the app as Fleets, will become the sole occupant at the top of the platform when Fleets disappears.