Twitter ditches Fleets feature as competitors add functionality and incentives

Twitter's move comes on the same day Clubhouse introduced a new direct messaging feature.
Twitter's move comes on the same day Clubhouse introduced a new direct messaging feature. Photo credit: Getty Images

It's been a day of new and disappearing features as well as more money for creators in the social media world, as platforms continue to try and attract and retain users.

Twitter has announced its disappearing stories feature Fleets, designed to compete with Snapchat and Instagram, will be discontinued on August 3.

The ephemeral functionality was launched in November, allowing users to post photos, videos, tweet reactions and plain text that disappeared after 24 hours.

The company announced just last month that it was testing full-screen advertising within Fleets.

"We had big hopes for Fleets, but now it’s time to say goodbye and take flight with other ideas," Twitter tweeted.

"We had planned for Fleets to help people feel comfortable joining the conversation in a low-pressure way, but it turns out Fleets were mainly used by those Tweeting the most. 

"So now we're ready to explore other ways for people to share on Twitter."

Meanwhile, invite-only social audio app Clubhouse has launched a direct messaging feature called 'Backchannel'.

The service, which the company said in a tweet it unintentionally leaked five times, allows one-to-one and group chats within the app.

The new functionality will allow speakers to connect with co-hosts and audiences in real-time as well as allowing audience members to chat about the content.

Clubhouse launched its Android app in May, having previously been iOS only, and claims a community of over 10 million users.

However Twitter, Spotify and Facebook have all recently announced audio-led features to compete with Clubhouse.

Finally, Facebook has announced it will spend US$1 billion on social media creators through to the end of next year.

It will include bonus programs for creators who hit certain milestones on both Facebook and Instagram as well as funding users to create new content.

Instagram's bonus programs will include incentives to use Reels, the TikTok-like feature that showcases short-form videos, Reuters reported.

Creators will earn money based on how their Reels videos perform, Facebook said.

The bonus schemes are invitation only.