Twitter addresses early concerns over Stories-like Fleets

twitter fleets

Twitter has addressed early concerns about its new disappearing-tweets feature Fleets. Multiple users raised anxieties over its availability and openness while in use.

The company slowed down the rollout last week after several issues. Its backend server could not keep up with the number of users. The high demand also caused other errors to some users.

Twitter says it has fully resolved all the problems. And it dismissed the other reported errors as non-functional issues.

24-hour Expiry

Some users reported seeing Fleets past their 24-hour expiry period.

“Fleets are not viewable in Twitter apps after 24 hours, however our backend system has a queue that deletes Fleets media after 24 hours. This system fell behind on Friday morning PST due to scaling problems. That meant that developers could save a Fleet URL during the 24 hours the Fleet was active. Due to our queue backlog, that URL may have still been accessible after the Fleet expired. The queue is now caught up and we’ve updated our systems to reduce the likelihood that this reoccurs,” says Twitter.

If true, it was a one-off issue. And you can expect them to vanish after 24 hours moving forward.

Logged-out Users

Twitter says reports of logged-out users viewing Fleets are impossible.

“To clarify, people using Twitter apps can only see Fleets when logged in. But it’s possible for developers to make API calls to return Fleets metadata through a common behavior called “scraping”. We don’t believe this is a security or privacy concern because Fleets (from accounts without the “protected” setting) are public. We updated our systems today to require an authenticated session before requesting Fleets metadata, to add more friction to use these APIs,” says Twitter.

Since the only Fleets displayed this way are public posts, it does not violate individual user privacy settings. While it is impossible, it may still appear to logged-out users.

Seen By

Twitter says some people viewed Fleets without appearing in the creator’s ‘seen by’ list.

“Our goal is to show a list of people who’ve seen your Fleet, but we don’t guarantee completeness for technical and experience reasons. For example, we cap the list when it gets long. 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. We’re taking this feedback seriously and considering how we can improve,” says Twitter.

Some people want to analyze their interactions to gauge what they are seeing. If you are a brand looking to optimize your Fleets strategy, take these into consideration. Factor them into your data.

Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

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