Twitter, a few days ago , introduced a new feature to its users called “Fleets,” after a buggy launch. Much like Stories on Instagram or Snapchat, fleets is ephemeral content which disappears after 24 hours, or at least it’s supposed to.
However, it has been recently found that “fleets” are not exactly “fleeting” in nature. Although Twitter claims that fleets are temporary in their existence, the posts are still accessible long after the said tenure of 24 hours has gone by. It is all due to a “bug” which not only causes the problem of fleets not deleting properly but also allows them to be viewed and downloaded by other users but without notifying the original author.
By using an application that has been designed to interact with Twitter’s back-end system via its developer API, you can get access to several fleets from the server where each one has its own direct URL, allowing you to open them as images or videos via any browser. Even after 24 hours, although the fleets have disappeared from the public eye from the Twitter app, the server would still return links of the fleets.
The company also said that although the fleets are visible on the Twitter application for only 24 hours, it stores them in its server for up to 30 days or maybe longer. The company also has informed that the “seen by” feature is only available if someone has viewed the fleet by Twitter application.
A Twitter spokesperson said in an email exchange, “We’re aware of a bug accessible through a technical workaround where some Fleets media URLs may be accessible after 24 hours. We are working on a fix that should be rolled out shortly.”
Various users posted the details of the new bug in a series of tweets in less than a week since it was launched. Twitter is quite late to add this “here now, gone tomorrow” feature in their systems. Fleets are not retweetable and viewers also can not “like” a fleet. You can only reply to a fleet by tapping on it once, which sends a direct message to the creator of the fleet.