It wasn't that long ago that every app installed on your phone introduced unique spins on timed content. Spurred by the success of Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, everyone from Spotify to Pinterest to Venmo decided posting videos and photos with an included expiration date was the way of the future. Twitter brought its own take on the concept to its app last year, but like the content itself, it's time for Fleets to expire.
Twitter is removing Fleets from its service on August 3rd, which leaves you with just enough time to think of one last good post for the road. According to its announcement, the feature was designed to encourage "anxious" users to tweet, but the site's most active participants ended up using it to boost their own content instead. Also — and this could just be anecdotal — it doesn't seem like people have really used the service. Of the 700-something users I follow on the site, only nine have posted Fleets today, and five of them were about the feature dying.
We had planned for Fleets to help people feel comfortable joining the conversation in a low-pressure way, but it turns out Fleets were mainly used by those Tweeting the most.
So now we're ready to explore other ways for people to share on Twitter. (2/4)
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 14, 2021
If you were excited to gain back some screen real estate for your followed accounts, unfortunately, the top bar will be sticking around for Spaces, Twitter's Clubhouse
rip-off competitor. Thankfully, it should only appear when someone you follow is live on Spaces. The media creation tools made for Fleets, including the camera interface and GIF stickers, are also planned for an eventual launch with standard tweets. Likewise, Twitter intends to test out new ways to incorporate full-screen ads into its service.
I can't imagine many users will miss Fleets — I'm pretty sure I saw it used ironically more than as a genuine attempt to engage with an audience. For now, we'll all just have to be patient until Twitter launches the TikTok clone that is undoubtedly in testing.