Twitter to shut down disappearing ‘Fleets’ feature

Twitter will shut down its posts feature called Fleets on August 3.

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter will shut down its posts feature called Fleets on August 3 after the product failed to gain traction with users.

The shutdown comes just eight months after the social media platform rolled out Fleets to all its users globally, and just one month after it began testing advertising within the feature.

In a blog post, Twitter said it had not seen an increase in the number of new users posting Fleets as it had hoped. The company began testing tweets that vanish after 24 hours last March in Brazil. Fleets were designed to allay concerns of new users who might be turned off by the public and permanent nature of normal tweets.

“However, we haven’t seen an increase in the amount of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped,” Twitter said in a statement. “So as of August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter.”

Kayvon Beykpour, head of consumer product at Twitter, stressed that this is part of how the company works.  “(Big) bets are risky and speculative, so by definition a number of them won’t work,” he tweeted. “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.”

Fleets are reminiscent of Instagram and Facebook “stories” and Snapchat’s snaps, which let users post short-lived photos and messages. Such features are increasingly popular with social media users looking for smaller groups and and more private chats. However, people use Twitter differently than Facebook, Instagram or messaging apps which is more public and a way to stay up to date.