Twitter to kill Fleets feature, its competitor to Facebook Stories

twitter-to-kill-fleets-feature,-its-competitor-to-facebook-stories

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer 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 on Wednesday announced it will discontinue its Fleets feature on Aug. 3.

The announcement means the company will shut down the feature it rolled out last year to compete with the stories features available in Snapchat and Instagram. The decision comes after the company announced in June it was beginning to test ads inside Fleets, a move that would have helped it monetize the posts.

“We hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation 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 joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped.”

Twitter introduced Fleets in November 2020. The feature lets Twitter users post full-screen photos, videos, reactions to tweets or plain text that disappears after 24 hours. Fleets came years after Snapchat and Facebook introduced similar options for their users.

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

“Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others,” the company said. “We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter.”

Fleets’ failure to catch on could be a blow to Twitter’s ambitious goals to have 315 million monetizable daily active users, or mDAUs, by the end of 2023 and to at least double its annual revenue in that year. A key part of hitting those goals involved launching more features that would encourage user growth and more user engagement.

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