It’s a feature Twitter users have been clamoring for so long it’s become a meme, but now the mythical “edit button” is actually becoming a reality. Twitter has announced that it is working on allowing users to edit their tweets after they are posted. The idea behind this is that you can correct typos or mistakes in a tweet without having to give up any replies, retweets or likes you’ve already collected. Twitter plans to test the feature with Twitter Blue subscribers “in the coming months.” The company announced this on Tuesday.
Jay Sullivan, the company’s VP of Consumer Product, said that editing was “the most requested Twitter feature for many years.” in a thread on Tuesday. The company has been investigating how to create the feature “safely” for the last year.
“Without things like time limits, controls, and visibility into what was edited, Edit could be abused to alter the public conversation recording.” he said. “Protecting the integrity of this public conversation is our top priority as we approach this work.”
3/ Without things like time limits, controls and transparency of what was edited, editing could be abused to change the public conversation record. Protecting the integrity of this public conversation is our top priority as we approach this work.
— Jay Sullivan (@jaysullivan) April 5, 2022
People have been asking for an edit button for so long that it’s become something of a joke. “Tweets, but editable” has become the standard response to spotting a typo in a popular tweet. But former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been reluctant to add such a feature in the past. During a 2018 talk, Dorsey expressed concern that an “edit” button could allow users to change the meaning of a tweet after it’s been widely shared, and in 2020 he said Twitter would “probably never ” Add.
Concerns like these have repeatedly surfaced with requests for an edit button. But as my colleague Casey Newton argued in 2017, numerous other platforms, including Facebook, Medium, and Instagram, already allow users to edit their posts, and the features have not been met with widespread abuse. But that doesn’t mean abuse is unknown. Accordingly Meta’s former Chief Security Officer Alex StamosFacebook’s edit feature has been abused in the past, in one case to help a cryptocurrency scam.
Twitter’s opinion on an edit button appears to have changed after Parag Agrawal became CEO. On April 1st, the annual Corporate Lie Day, the official Twitter account said it was “Working on an edit button.Although it was taken as a joke at the time, Twitter product lead Michael Sayman later referenced the tweet as “the company.”official statement” in the function.
Days later, after it was announced that Elon Musk had bought a 9.2 percent stake in the company, the Tesla CEO’s first significant tweet was to ask his followers if Twitter should add an edit button. 73.4 percent were in favor of it.
The company already has an undo feature that lets you recall a tweet before sending it, although this is only available to Twitter Blue subscribers.