Twitter Fleets to Shut Down: Is it a Smart Move?
Digital platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook use stories to showcase and connect with other users. People and brands use the feature to share content, although stories disappear after 24 hours.
Twitter saw that opportunity, that is why they created their own story called Fleets. Nine months ago they introduced it to the market. The initial launch of Fleets looked promising due to the positive response of the users on its first day.
Twitter aimed to gain more new users to post content on Twitter through the use of Fleets. However, Fleets were just used by Twitter’s existing power users. Right now, we are bidding goodbye to Fleets because Twitter didn’t achieve its goal, which is to encourage more users.
We discuss what Twitter fleets is, and what caused Twitter fleets to shut down.
Purpose of Fleets
Before we discuss the reasons behind the shutdown of Fleets, let us find out why this feature was developed by Twitter. As we know, some social media applications use stories to share content and engage with their friends, subscribers, or followers. Just last year, Twitter introduced its own version of stories to allow users to share their day with other people.
Here are some of the reasons why Twitter developed Fleets.
Encourage New Users to Share Personal and Casual Thoughts
Twitter’s objective is to serve public conversation and discussion. But for some people, tweeting can be uncomfortable because it feels so public and so permanent. Twitter’s Fleets encourage new users to share and post their thoughts without thinking about others.
Fleets are made for momentary or random thoughts. Hence, the reason why Fleets are only shown for 24 hours. It can also help them start conversations.
Address Anxiety Issues of Users in Sharing Content with Twitter’s Public Nature
Tweeting publicly can be stressful and anxious for other users. To help people feel more comfortable, Twitter thought about how they can improve their platform and add features that will lower pressure. They launched Fleets so every user can easily join the conversation in a new way with their fleeting thoughts.
With the public nature of Twitter, everyone can retweet or like your tweets. Some can dig your past through your past tweets. Hence, this affects their mental health and anxiety.
Boost Engagement of Users
Fleets are not non-public, but it is a little less accessible. Your followers can see your Fleets, but other people can visit a public Twitter profile and tap to view your Fleets. This way, you can freely talk and engage with new people.
Most importantly, you can show your authenticity with your Fleets. Businesses can also promote their brand effectively.
The Underwhelming Response of Users
So, what caused Twitter fleets to shut down? In the early release of Fleets, people seemed to show interest. However, since its launch, this feature has kept on crashing and lagging, disappointing many users.
Fleets was a great way to share your personal momentary thoughts without thinking about the reactions of your followers. However, Fleets didn’t appeal to the users because there were other mediums where they can share their stories. Some people think that Twitter was their last resort in sharing their plans or snacks. They do not see it as personal as Instagram Stories.
Why Twitter Fleets to Shut Down on August 3
Fleets can be beneficial for people who want to tweet and share their thoughts. However, the response of people is underwhelming. There are several factors why Twitter decided to shut down its expiring tweets feature. And here’s why.
No Increase in the Number of Users
Twitter hoped that Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining and engaging on Twitter. But, since they introduced Fleets to everyone, there is no significant increase in the number of new users joining the conversation and using Fleets. Instead of gaining new users, existing users utilize this feature to amplify their own tweets.
Struggles to Boost Engagement
Because most people do not join Fleets, there is a low usage and engagement within the feature. They struggle to make their product accessible to a wider audience. More than that, they struggle to tap users who are using the platform but are not taking action.
The initial rollout of Fleets looked promising. Many people have waited for this since their announcement. Some people consider that the crashing and lagging of Fleets is a positive indicator because of the surge of people using the app. But as time went by, Twitter noticed that people who are utilizing Fleets are also the existing users that are publicly tweeting and sharing content. Those quiet Twitter users are not interested in Fleets, which is the target audience of Twitter.
If you have been using Twitter for years, for sure, you may not find it challenging to share your thoughts without thinking about other people’s reactions. But with Fleets, Twitter carefully considers users who are stressed to tweet because of anxiety and uncomfortableness. They made sure that followers can’t retweet or like their Fleets. In fact, Fleets was the company’s attempt to develop a low-pressure and ephemeral way to communicate and build relationships with others on the platform.
However, with the underwhelming response of users, Twitter decided to kill this feature. But one of the main reasons is that Fleet’s feature does not work the way it is supposed to. If it does not serve its purpose, then it is a smart move to act quickly on that feature instead of keeping and displaying Fleets for vanity purposes.
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