Twitter's killing Fleets and is surprisingly candid about the whole thing

Tweet Fleets
Tweet Fleets (Image credit: Twitter)

What you need to know

  • After just a few months, Twitter has killed its ephemeral tweets, Fleets.
  • The social network was surprisingly candid about the move.

After just a few months, Twitter's ephemeral tweets are gone. Fleets, we hardly knew ye. Twitter made the announcement via a series of tweets as well as a blog post that outlined the reasons for the move.

Fleets were only ever available via the official Twitter app and allowed people to post tweets that would disappear after a period of time. The idea was a simple one, and people seemed to take to it. But not enough did, and Twitter pulled the plug. The feature will be around until August 3, and then it's gone for good.

We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. 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. Because of this, on August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter.

There seem to have been a few reasons why Twitter decided to make this move, but one of them is the fact it now plans to roll some of the Fleets features into the normal tweet composition screen. Twitter says it will look to bring the "full-screen camera, text formatting options, and GIF stickers" to Twitter proper in the future.

Rounding out the blog post, Twitter says that it will continue to make changes that are "speculative" and that not all of them will work out.

We're evolving what Twitter is, and trying bigger, bolder things to serve the public conversation. A number of these updates, like Fleets, are speculative and won't work out. We'll be rigorous, evaluate what works, and know when to move on and focus elsewhere.

No, we wait to see what Twitter comes up with next. In the meantime, check out some of the best iPhone Twitter apps that aren't actually from Twitter.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.