Twitter to Make Major Change to Network

Twitter is dropping its "fleets" feature after it failed to catch on generally among users. Fleets were tweets that would disappear after a few hours, much like Instagram Stories or Snapchat Snaps. On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the fleets would be quietly disappearing soon.

Twitter began testing fleets back in March in select markets and then launched them worldwide not long after. They were a pretty transparent copy of the Story features on Facebook and other sites, but Twitter users — ever the contrarians — did not feel they were necessary. In a statement issued to the AP on Wednesday, Twitter said that fleets will disappear from its app and website on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

"We haven't seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped," Twitter's statement explained. "So, as of August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter."
Twitter's head of consumer product, Kayvon Beykpour, explained the decision further in a thread on Twitter. Beykpour wrote: "[big] bets are risky and speculative, so by definition, a number of them won't work. If we're not having to wind down features every once in a while, then it would be a sign that we're not taking big enough swings."

Twitter executives had reportedly hoped that fleets would increase engagement compared to normal tweets, which stay on a user's feed permanently unless deleted. Old tweets have gotten a number of people fired from high-profile jobs or "canceled" by social media at large, including cases like director James Gunn, who was briefly fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 when his decade-old jokes resurfaced.

An even greater case may be that of Chrissy Teigen, formerly regarded as the Queen of Twitter but now all but absent from its ranks. Teigen has been dealing with dozens of resurfaced tweets where she was outright mean to other users. In an apology published on Medium, Teigen took responsibility for her tweets, though she attributed some of their cruelty to a mob mentality.

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"I was insecure, immature and in a world where I thought I needed to impress strangers to be accepted," she wrote. "If there was a pop culture pile-on, I took to Twitter to try to gain attention and show off what I at the time believed was a crude, clever, harmless quip. I thought it made me cool and relatable if I poked fun at celebrities."

Teigen may have missed the age of fleets altogether during her absence from Twitter. The feature will be shut down for good on Tuesday, Aug. 3.