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Twitter to shut Fleets, disappearing tweets feature gets low user adoption

Amid the lack of buzz and enthusiasm from Twitteratis, Twitter is shutting down its disappearing tweets feature called Fleets. The company began testing tweets that vanish after 24 hours in Brazil.

Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter from August 3, less than a year after it was launched. Fleets were designed to allay the concerns of new users who might be turned off by the public and the permanent nature of normal tweets.

“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,” the company said.

Twitter wrote, “we’re sorry, or you’re welcome,” acknowledging mixed user reactions to the feature in a tweet announcing the decision.

“Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others. We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter. And for the people who already are Tweeting, we’re focused on making this better for you,” it added.

The announcement comes less than a month after Twitter said it would begin testing ads on Fleets, as it works to offer more options for advertisers.

Kayvon Beykpour, the head of consumer product at Twitter, stressed that this is part of how the company works. “(Big) bets are risky and speculative, so by definition, a number of them won’t work,” he tweeted.

“If we do not have to wind down features every once in a while, then it would be a sign that we’re not taking big enough swings,” he added.

Twitter, in a statement, also said that it would test 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.

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