Twitter to kill Fleets characteristic, its competitor to Fb, Snapchat Tales

Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and CEO of Twitter Inc. and Square Inc., speaks during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Florida on Friday, June 4, 2021.

Eva Marie Uzcategui | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Twitter announced on Wednesday that it would end its fleet operations on August 3rd.

The announcement means the company will be retiring the feature introduced last year to compete with the Stories features available on Snapchat and Instagram. The decision comes after the company announced in June that it would be testing ads in Fleets, a move that would have helped it monetize the posts.

“We were hoping that fleets would help more people feel comfortable while talking on Twitter,” the company said in a blog post. “But in the time since we introduced fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people taking part in the conversation with fleets as we’d hoped.”

Twitter introduced Fleets in November 2020. With the function, Twitter users can post photos, videos, reactions to tweets or plain text in full screen mode, which disappear after 24 hours. Fleets came years after Snapchat and Facebook introduced similar options to their users.

The purpose of Fleets was to get more users to post content on Twitter, but instead of encouraging new users to post content, Fleets were only used by Twitter’s existing power users, the company said.

“Fleets are mainly used by people who are already tweeting to amplify their own tweets and speak directly to others,” the company said. “We’ll be exploring more ways to address what’s stopping people from participating on Twitter.”

The failure of the fleets could be a setback to Twitter’s ambitious goals of having 315 million Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAUs) by the end of 2023 and at least doubling annual revenue this year. An important part of achieving these goals was the introduction of additional features that would encourage user growth and engagement.

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