Twitter built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. But, in the time since Twitter introduced fleets to everyone, the platform hasn’t seen an increase in the number of new people Tweeting and joining the conversation with Fleets as hoped. Because of this, on August 3 Fleets will no longer be available on the platform.
Using its learning from Fleets, Twitter will focus on creating other ways for people to join the conversation and talk about what’s happening in their world. Here are some of the learnings and what is coming next:
• Although Twitter 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. The platform is exploring more ways to address what holds people back from participating in the conversation. And for the people who already are Tweeting, the focus is on enhancing their experience.
• Most Fleets include media – people enjoy quickly sharing photos and videos to add to the discussion on Twitter. Soon, the platform will begin testing updates to the Tweet composer and camera to incorporate features from the Fleets composer – like the full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers.
• The top of the timeline continues to be a good spot to highlight what’s happening right now. People will still see Spaces there when their followers are hosting or speaking in a live audio conversation.
• Twitter’s Fleet ads test, which concluded as planned last month, was one of its first explorations of full-screen, vertical format ads. A close look at learnings is being taken to assess how these ads perform on Twitter.
Twitter is evolving what it is, and trying bigger, bolder things like Fleets, to serve the public conversation. Although a number of these updates, like Fleets are speculative and may not work out, the platform will be rigorous, evaluate what works and know when to focus elsewhere – as it is doing with fleets. If Twitter is not evolving its approach and winding down features every once in a while – it’s not taking big enough chances. The platform will continue to build new ways to participate in conversations, listening to feedback and changing direction when there may be a better way to serve people using Twitter.