Ever since it rolled out for Twitter users in November, I have not noticed Fleets being used for anything besides posting up Tweets I’ve already read. Fleets definitely flopped, and Twitter acknowledged it by announcing that they would be removing the feature on 3 August 2021, along with a hilarious ‘apology’ of sorts.
“We’re sorry or you’re welcome,” wrote Twitter regarding their removal announcement.
If you aren’t familiar with Fleets, I don’t blame you. Fleets was Twitter’s attempt of their own ‘Instagram Stories’—which is a pretty popular feature on Instagram. It was basically a disappearing messaging feature which sits right at the top of the timeline in a row where you can write text, share a tweet, record a video or post a photo.
The feature was, as I noticed, terribly under-used. On my own feed, only two accounts out of the hundreds I follow are actually using it, and they’re either professional accounts or politicians.
To compare it to Instagram’s Stories, their feature is widely used by almost every user to log their day, share some news, or spread information. In fact, I think I use the Instagram Stories feature a lot more than their actual photo-sharing feature—which is something Instagram has kind of acknowledged.
“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 like we hoped,” said Ilya Brown, Twitter’s vice president of product.
Fleets isn’t the only thing Twitter has introduced that didn’t seem to catch on as much as they hoped. They introduced “Voice Tweets” which was exclusive for some chosen few for a while before it was released to the rest of us, but I don’t see anyone really using it either.
However, there is still some hope for Twitter’s Clubhouse copy, Spaces. It really isn’t getting amazing traction yet, but I’ve noticed quite a few users on the app utilising the feature. But you’d need at least 600 followers to host.
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