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Twitter ‘Fleets’ is retiring after a year of existence due to the low engagement of users, and more looks to focus on its audio spaces tool instead.
As per Twitter
“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 as we hoped.”
What is the reason behind this action?
It was only through Twitter’s most recent earnings call in late April that we got any insight into Fleets’ use as a marketing tool. CEO Jack Dorsey answered a question about Fleets’ performance.
We’re seeing some new activity and new demographics utilizing Fleets. [We launched Fleets] to solve the problem of people not wanting to Tweet because they feared it staying around too long. And for that use case, it is working very well.
And then it certainly has taken on it certainly has seen a different audience than we normally see. But we still have much to learn and a lot to figure out in terms of like where it goes from here.”
The update likely includes an updated camera option as well as a full-screen ad format, while Twitter also says it plans to use the top of the timeline space for promoting in-progress audio areas to take advantage of the audio engagement opportunity.
As a result, the top bar will still show the bubbles along with the profile, but they will no longer be Fleets.
In addition, Twitter has been testing displays of Fleets and highlighting related Fleets for the past two weeks, which was an interesting experiment.
These efforts may have been last-ditch attempts to save Twitter ‘Fleets or get more information about its usage for future initiatives. Product lead Kayvon Beykpour sees the termination of Fleets as a reflection of Twitter’s aggressive product development policy. The company plans to retire Fleets by the end of the year.
“Big bets are risky and speculative, so by definition, some 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.”
That’s at least partially true – in many cases, it’s better to know that something doesn’t work, rather than sit on your hands and wait. This is particularly true in the fast-paced social media eco-sphere – and Fleets certainly was a fairly big bet, taking up prime real estate in the app and adding a whole new, and different, tweet functionality.