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Twitter Fleets, a feature that allows users to share disappearing stories, reportedly has a bug that makes the stories accessible even after their 24-hour expiration period. The bug that was causing Fleets to not delete properly, leaving them viewable for more than 24 hours, has been reportedly acknowledged by Twitter. The company is also said to be working on a fix. Twitter launched Fleets last week but the rollout was slowed down due to some performance and stability issues.
First spotted by TechCrunch, Fleets are staying active for over 24 hours, which is not supposed to happen. The feature was implemented last week to allow users to share short stories on the platform that would stay for 24 hours and then get deleted. However, a bug has caused Fleets to be accessible even after their expiration. It allows users to access a fleet without triggering a notification about who has seen or downloaded the Fleet, essentially allowing the disappearing posts to be archived even after their expiration.
A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch, “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.”
Twitter stores Fleets in its servers for 30 days but the direct URL is only supposed to be sent back for 24 hours when someone views the Fleet. Due to the bug, the server was still returning URLs after24 hours even when they disappeared from the Twitter app.
According to a report by The Verge, the workaround mentioned by Twitter seems to be a developer app that could “scrape fleets from public accounts via Twitter’s API”. This API does not send back URLs for Fleets that are past their 24 hours expiration, which means even if someone has a URL for an active Fleet, it will not work after the expiration point.
Fleets first launched in India in June for Android and iOS users. Similar to Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp Stories, Fleets are meant to disappear in 24 hours and cannot be cannot be liked or retweeted like regular tweets, however other users can respond to the Fleets via Direct Message (DM).
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