Twitter's answer to the popularity of Facebook and Instagram "Stories" - tweets that disappear on their own after 24 hours - seems to be as short-lived as the "fleets" themselves.
Introduced worldwide in November 2020, the fleets will be discontinued from August 3 after they did not encourage users to tweet more, as Twitter had hoped.
The thinking was that old tweets had caused problems for a lot of people, so tweets that deleted automatically would encourage even reluctant users to share content. A reply to a fleet could only be written as a direct message, but not appear in the public timeline.
"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," Twitter writes.
However, the company says that it is ready to learn from its mistakes and shortcomings. "We'll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter," it says in a blog post.
The platform will also look to incorporate the technology used in fleets to the Tweet composer and camera.
Kayvon Beykpour, the head of consumer product, tweeted: "Big bets are risky and speculative, so by definition some 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."
The failure is understood to be a big blow to the company's plans to have 315 million monetisable daily active users by the end of 2023. – dpa