July 2021 saw Twitter announce that they will be removing fleets from the platform. They were originally introduced in November 2020 in a blog announcement. Fleets were introduced as a perfect way to ‘share momentary thoughts’ and would only last for 24 hours. Twitter believed it would get more people sharing their thoughts and getting involved on the platform.
Fleets allowed users to share text, reactions to tweets, images and to customise the background. It seemed to be Twitter’s answer to Snapchat and Instagram stories and aimed to provide users with a route to share their ‘fleeting’ thoughts.
It was also Twitter’s first foray into full-screen advertising. Previously businesses wanting to advertise on Twitter could only promote their regular tweets. The addition of fleets came with the additional option of businesses running full-screen advertisements in between regular users’ fleets, much like the advertising option on Instagram stories.
In a blog released on 14th July, Twitter announced that they will be retiring the fleets option on the 3rd August, citing “we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped”
It would seem that not as many users took up the option of fleeting as Twitter had hoped for. The aim had been to get more people active on the platform but Twitters own data showed that fleets were just being used by people who were already actively tweeting.
Having withdrawn the fleeting option it is probably safe to assume that advertisers were not using the platform and it wasn’t bringing in the revenue that Twitter had hoped for.
Twitter has said they will continue to bring new ideas and new features to the platform to be interesting to see what their next move is.