Twitter shuts down Fleets because brands show little interest

The fleets were meant to give users a way to share videos that would be, well, fleeting, since they would disappear within 24 hours, like video stories on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. The fleets also gave Twitter a new canvas to explore vertical video ads, which have become a staple of the mobile internet marketing playbook. Last month, Twitter began testing ads within Fleets with brands like Disney and Wendy’s. Twitter says it also discontinued that show.

“Our Fleet ad test, which concluded as planned last month, was one of our first full-screen portrait ad scans,” Twitter said in the ad. “We are closely looking at the insights to evaluate the performance of these ads on Twitter.”

The loss of fleets is seen as a sign that Twitter is acting quickly to experiment and then move on when new products don’t work. Twitter has stepped up its testing of new ad formats and media products, introducing other new features like Spaces this year. Twitter has higher hopes for Spaces, which is a real-time, live-streaming audio player similar to the Clubhouse launcher app. Twitter says its change in attitude on Fleets doesn’t reflect the growth potential in areas like Spaces.

Advertisers and major brands never fully embraced Fleets, says Joshua Lowcock, director of global and digital brand safety at UM, an agency within IPG Mediabrands. “It feels like the right decision for Twitter,” Lowcock said by email. “From the perspective of the user and the advertiser, we did not see the product gain traction or interest.”

Cleaning the service

Twitter recently sent out an extensive advertising presentation to brands about how it sees the future of service innovation, and fleets weren’t a priority. Twitter has focused on cleaning up the service, which has had several brand security issues. Twitter has also been rebuilding its back-end ad tech to empower ad targeting and measurement, especially in the wake of new data restrictions on platforms like Apple iOS 14.5, the iPhone software that controls how apps access it. consumer information.

Twitter will report its second-quarter earnings next week, giving advertisers more insight into ad revenue growth and user interest in the app. Last quarter, Twitter’s ad revenue topped $ 900 million, growing 32% year-over-year. Twitter has what it calls 199 million “monetizable daily active users.”

While Twitter is phasing out Fleets, Instagram continues to invest in Reels, YouTube recently expanded YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat has been investing in Spotlight, which are short-form video offerings created to respond to the growing threat from TikTok.

“The fleets always felt more over the top for Twitter than for Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts,” Lowcock said. “The Twitter Spaces product is much more tailored to the way people use and interact with Twitter.”


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