Twitter is planning to shut down Fleets, a way for users to share texts, photos and video that disappear in 24 hours, because the tool isn’t as widely used as the company hoped.
Fleets will no longer be available starting Aug. 3, Twitter said in a blog post on July 14. The move shows that Twitter is moving away from ephemeral content that rose in popularity after the arrival of Snapchat, followed by Facebook-owned Instagram introducing Stories in its apps.
“Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already tweeting to amplify their own tweets and talk directly with others,” Twitter said in the post.
On Monday, some Twitter employees and users were bidding farewell to Fleets. Paul Stamatiou, who led the design of Fleets, said the company wanted Fleets to be “raw and authentic” and “feel lighter than tweeting.” “We were testing a hypothesis and not everything goes as you plan,” he tweeted.
In its blog post, Twitter said it learned through its rollout of Fleets that people enjoyed sharing media and that it planned to test a full-screen camera, text formatting options and GIF stickers in the tweet composer. The company also said it would continue to highlight its audio chat tool Spaces at the top of the timeline.