Twitter on Wednesday announced that it will shut down its ephemeral Fleets feature on August 3, eight months after it was launched. The micro-blogging platform says the feature had failed to gain traction among users. The closure of Fleets comes just a month after Twitter had started testing advertisements on the feature. The company said that it didn’t see an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets as they hoped. “Using our learnings from Fleets, we’ll focus on creating other ways for people to join the conversation and talk about what’s happening in their world,” it said.
However, this is not the first time when the San Francisco-based company has decided to shut down a feature, and that too in such a short time. In fact, Twitter is not alone there. Even Google has, over the years, discontinued products that either bombed completely or were proving to be too much to carry. For instance, in August last year, the tech giant killed Google Play Music, its music library and audio streaming service.
Here’s a list of products or features that Twitter has shut down over the years:
Fleets: Twitter announced through a blog post on Wednesday that starting August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter. The reason we say Fleets was similar to Instagram Stories is that not only could users share their tweets there but also a screenshot, a photograph, or a video from their gallery. The Fleet, much like Instagram Stories, disappeared after 24 hours. Fleets will no longer be available on the top bar of the Twitter app from August 3, but it will continue to feature Spaces as and when somebody you follow hosts one.
Periscope: In December 2020, Twitter announced that it would shut down Periscope, the live-streaming app, after the feature witnessed a decline in usage in the past two years and increasing supporting-costs. In a blog post, the company said that the product had been in “an unsustainable maintenance-mode state” for a while. “Leaving it in its current state isn’t doing right by the current and former Periscope community or by Twitter,” the company said. The product was then discontinued in March 2021.
Twttr: Twitter decided to turn off threaded replies, a feature it was experimenting with for a while, in December 2020. Following the user feedback, the platform decided to discontinue the product and said it would work on other methods to improve conversations.
We appreciate the feedback you gave us through this run of our prototype app twttr. For now we’re turning it off so we can work on new tests to improve the conversation experience on Twitter.
If you’re using twttr, switch to the main Twitter app to keep up with what’s happening. https://t.co/xq4emx9HeH
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 3, 2020
API: In August 2018, the company announced that it was going to stop supporting Twitter for Apple Watch and Twitter for Mac, and replacing the previous Twitter for Windows app with Progressive Web App. Besides, the platform said they were removing support for some outdated developer tools. “We feel the best Twitter experience we can provide today is through our owned and operated Twitter for iOS and Android apps, as well as a desktop and mobile twitter.com,” the company said back then in a blog post.
Twitter Moments: In October 2018, the micro-blogging site announced that users would no longer be able to create Moments within iOS and Android Apps, another feature they said that hadn’t seen a lot of usages. A user could, however, still make Moments on the desktop and view it on iOS and Android devices.
On October 23, we’re removing the ability to create Moments on the Twitter for iOS or Android apps. When features aren’t used as often, we’ll remove them, so we can focus on building other products you’ll love.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 9, 2018
Vine: In October 2015, Twitter announced through a blog post that it would shut down Vine, the video-sharing mobile app. The step was also taken to cut nine percent of its global workforce worldwide to keep costs down. Introduced in 2013, Vine allowed users to share small snippets of video that were six seconds or less in duration.
The company decided to discontinue the feature despite its popularity among the so-called ‘Vine Stars,’ who had attracted millions of followers.