Twitter’s new ephemeral tweets, known as fleets, should only last 24 hours. But a mistake is to keep fleets from disappearing completely, remaining accessible even after their expiration date. First reported by TechCrunch, the error allows fleets to be viewed and downloaded by other users, but without notifying the fleet author.
“We are aware of an error available through a technical solution where some fleet media URLs can be accessed after 24 hours,” a Twitter spokesman said in an email to On the edge. “We are working on an amendment that should be introduced soon.”
This “workaround” seems to be a developer application that can rip fleets from public accounts via the Twitter API. The Twitter API does not return URLs for fleets that are older than 24 hours, according to the company, and once the fix is released, even if someone has an active fleet URL, it will not work after the expiration date.
And while fleets are only visible on users’ charts for 24 hours, Twitter keeps fleets on its back for up to 30 days, longer for fleets that violate its rules and may require enforcement action, the company said. During this 30-day period, a fleet is offered when downloading data from a user on Twitter, while Twitter keeps a copy. The “seen from” action is usually only available when someone is browsing the fleet through the Twitter app.
Twitter is a little late with the disappearing content – the fleets are essentially its version of Instagram or Snapchat stories. They allow mobile Twitter users to share text, videos, images or other tweets for a short time. They are not intended for retouching and you cannot directly “like” a fleet, but you can respond to one by touching it, which sends a direct message to the fleet creator.
Updated November 22, 10:56 AM ET: Added comment from Twitter and additional details