Twitter will discontinue ‘fleets,’ the disappearing-tweet feature that Twitter launched last year.
Fleets enabled mobile Twitter users to upload pictures, videos, audio and text to a separate media stream from their regular timeline. They then disappeared in 24 hours. The platform announced Friday that the feature would be discontinued officially on August 3.
Twitter posted a postmortem that was not shocking. It explained that it had “built Fleets in order to address some anxiety that keeps people from Tweeting,” but that the feature was “mostly used to amplify their Tweets and communicate directly with others.” In other words, only spammers used ‘Fleets’ to amplify a message they already posted.
Twitter said it would look at other solutions to those tweet-anxieties. It also avoided the concern of people being ‘cancelled due to old tweets that were retrieved and made public. It instead announced that it was “trying larger, bolder things for the public conversation”, including a “Fleet Ads Test” which introduced full-screen vertical advertisements.
Twitter users showed up in force to flood the Fleet’s final announcement with their opinions. Many of them reiterate the ever-present demand for an “edit button”. Will Twitter ever provide an edit button? Time will tell.