Twitter Addresses Some Concerns About Its Fleets Disappearing Tweets Feature

The social network corrected a backlog in its backend system that let URLs remain accessible after 24 hours

Twitter began rolling out Fleets last week Twitter

The Twitter Support team issued some clarifications regarding the social network’s recently introduced Fleets disappearing tweets feature in a series of tweets Sunday.

Responding to concerns that Fleets were still viewable following their 24-hour expiration period, Twitter Support said the social network’s backend system has a queue that deletes Fleets media after 24 hours, and that system fell behind last Friday morning due to scaling problems.

Twitter Support explained, “This meant that developers could save a Fleet URL during the 24 hours when the Fleet was active. Due to our queue backlog, that URL may have still been accessible after the Fleet expired.”

The company said its queue is now caught up and its systems were updated to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence.

Twitter also addressed concerns that Fleets were visible to people who are not logged into the social network, saying that developers can make API (application-programming interface) calls to return Fleets metadata via a common behavior, scraping, and adding that it did not see this as a security or privacy concern because it only affected Fleets from accounts that were set to public.

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

Finally, the social network explained that the “Seen by” list for Fleets is not meant to be a complete list of everyone who has seen that Fleet, “for technical and experience reasons,” responding to concerns that people can view Fleets without showing up on that list.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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