Twitter’s ‘Fleets’ aren’t disappearing after 24 hours

Twitter on Tuesday launched these ephemeral tweets, dubbed ”fleets”, after having tested the feature in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea.  

(Subscribe to our Today's Cache newsletter for a quick snapshot of top 5 tech stories. Click here to subscribe for free.)

Twitter launched its ephemeral tweet feature globally a week ago, which lets users post updates a la Instagram stories style. Fleets are supposed to disappear after 24 hours. But they aren’t.

The micro-blogging platform confirmed the glitch on Monday after people reported that Fleets were viewable even after the day-long period.

The company said that its backend system “fell behind on Friday morning PST [Pacific Standard Time] due to scaling problems.”

“This meant that developers could save a Fleet URL [universal resource link] during the 24h the Fleet was active”, Twitter Support said in a statement.

That saved URL remained active due to the queue backlog issue. The social media platform said it has now updated its systems and that the queue has caught up with the backlog, which will reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

“Seen by” feature glitch

Twitter also said it is working on fixing two other issues connected to non-logged in users able to see Fleets and the incomplete list of “seen by” people.

On users who are not logged into the app but able to view the Fleets, Twitter said, “it’s possible for developers to make API calls to return Fleets metadata through a common behaviour called ‘scraping’.”


The company doesn’t view this as a privacy issue as Fleets from accounts without the “protected” settings are public.

“We updated our systems today to require an authenticated session before requesting Fleets metadata, to add more friction to use these APIs,” it added.

Lastly, on the feature to view the list of people who have viewed an user’s Fleet, Twitter users reported that the “seen by” list is incomplete.

The micro-blogging platform said it has taken the feedback, and is looking at options to improve this feature.

“The edge cases that can result in a mismatch between the “Seen by” list and the actual people who saw your Fleet are uncommon, but we realize that this may not have aligned with expectations,” Twitter Support said.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 9:27:01 AM |

Next Story