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Twitter removes Fleets

After eight months, Twitter is killing its disappearing messages, dubbed Fleets, on August 3, after they didn’t catch on.

According to the company, the Stories-like posts which lived at the top of users’ mobile Timelines never really caught on — or, at least not in the way Twitter wanted.

“We hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter,” wrote Ilya Brown, Twitter’s vice president of product, in a blog post announcing the decision.

“However, we haven’t seen an increase in the amount of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped.”

Twitter launched Fleets back in November of 2020 to much hype and fanfare. The logic at the time, so far as it was articulated by Twitter, was that posts which automatically disappeared after a 24-hour window would encourage otherwise shy users to post more.

“That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah,” teased Twitter back in 2020. “We have a place for that now, Fleets!”

Fleets are reminiscent of Instagram and Facebook “stories” and Snapchat’s snaps, which let users post short-lived photos and messages.

Such features are increasingly popular with social media users looking for smaller groups and more private chats.

But people use Twitter differently than Facebook, Instagram or messaging apps, it’s more of a public conversation and a way to stay up to date with what’s going on.