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Twitter will shut down its disappearing tweets feature, Fleets, next month due to low usage, the company said on Wednesday.
“We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. 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,” Ilya Brown, Twitter’s head of product, said in a blog post.
The feature will cease to exist on Twitter beginning on August 3 — just eight months after Fleets was launched last November. At the time, the product followed similar features from Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook that allowed users to share messages that disappeared after 24 hours and would not live permanently on users’ public pages.
In his post, Brown said Twitter learned that users who already regularly tweeted were primarily using Fleets to “amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others.” The company had hoped the feature would instead “address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting.” But the photo- and video-sharing elements of Fleets resonated with users, Brown said, and Twitter will soon test updates to its regular tweet composer that will give users access to full-screen camera, text-formatting options and GIFs.
Twitter Spaces, a live-audio Clubhouse competitor, will still remain at the top of users’ timelines, which is where Fleets have also been housed.
“We’re evolving what Twitter is, and trying bigger, bolder things to serve the public conversation,” Brown said. “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.”
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