(Pocket-lint) – Well, that was fleeting…
Twitter has announced it is shutting down Fleets, the ephemeral tweet feature it rolled out last year in an attempt to copy the popular Stories format available in competing apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. Starting 3 August 2021, Twitter users will only see active Spaces (Twitter’s live audio chat rooms) at the top of their timelines, rather than Fleets as well.
In a tweet thread, Twitter revealed it had “big hopes” for Fleets, but it decided to focus on other ideas. It said it learned a lot from the experience, however, and plans to create newer, better ways for users to start conversations on the platform. “We’re evolving what Twitter is, and trying bigger, bolder things to serve the public conversation”, Twitter elaborated in a blog post.
We had big hopes for Fleets, but now it’s time to say goodbye and take flight with other ideas. Starting August 3, Fleets will no longer be available.
More on what we learned and what’s coming (1/4)
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 14, 2021
As part of Twitter’s evolution, the composer for standard tweets will be updated with Fleets functionality, including camera editing features like text-formatting and GIF stickers over photos.
we’re removing Fleets on August 3, working on some new stuff
we’re sorry or you’re welcome
— Twitter (@Twitter) July 14, 2021
It is obvious Stories do encourage sharing – perhaps even more casual, personal sharing – so it makes sense that Twitter wanted to give its users the ability to intimately express themselves, just like they can do in their other favourite apps. Whether users actually used Fleets remains unclear. When Clubhouse emerged earlier this year and social audio sharing became the latest way of sharing, Twitter seemed to drop Fleets and put all its attention on that by creating Spaces. However, like Fleets, it’s unknown how popular Spaces are with users.
For more about Spaces and Fleets, see our in-depth guides:
Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on .