Twitter closes fleets as brands show little interest
The fleets were supposed to give users a way to share videos that would be, well, ephemeral, as 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 mobile internet marketing‘s playbook. Last month, Twitter began testing ads within fleets with brands such as Disney and Wendy’s. Twitter says it has discontinued this program as well.
“Our fleet ad test, which ended as planned last month, was one of our first explorations of full-screen vertical ads,” Twitter said in the announcement. “We are taking a close look at the lessons to assess the performance of these ads on Twitter. “
The loss of fleets is seen as a sign that Twitter is moving quickly to experiment and then move on when new products don’t materialize. Twitter has stepped up its testing with 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 starter app. Twitter says its flip-flop on fleets doesn’t reflect the potential for growth in areas like spaces.
Advertisers and big brands have never fully embraced fleets, says Joshua Lowcock, head of digital and global brand security at UM, an agency within IPG Mediabrands. “It seems like Twitter’s right move,” Lowcock said via email. “From a user and advertiser perspective, we haven’t seen the product generate any interest or interest.”
Twitter recently sent out a massive publicity pitch to brands about how it envisions the future of service innovation, and fleets weren’t a priority. Twitter focused on cleaning up the service, which sparked a number of brand safety concerns. Twitter has also rebuilt its background ad technology to optimize ad targeting and measurement, especially in the wake of new data restrictions on platforms, including Apple iOS 14.5, the iPhone software that controls how applications access consumer information.
Twitter will release its second quarter results next week, which will give advertisers more information on ad revenue growth and user interest in the app. In the last quarter, Twitter’s ad revenue topped $ 900 million, growing 32 percent year-over-year. Twitter has what it calls 199 million “monetizable daily active users”.
As Twitter abandons Fleets, Instagram is still investing in Reels, YouTube recently expanded YouTube Shorts, and Snapchat invested in Spotlight, all of which are shorthand video offerings designed to respond to the growing threat from TikTok.
“Fleets have always seemed more difficult on Twitter than Instagram reels and YouTube shorts,” Lowcock said. “The Twitter Spaces product is much more about the way people use and interact with Twitter. “