It’s official! Twitter has confirmed that it is working on an edit button that would allow users to change tweets after they have been posted. This feature has been one of the most requested changes to the app for over a decade. Currently, in order to fix a typo or error in a tweet, users have to delete it and resend the tweet. This can ultimately limit the number of users who see it.
This announcement came after the conversation was brought up by Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk who became Twitter’s largest shareholder when he bought 9.2% of the company. He was then officially invited to join the board. Less than 24 hours later, the CEO tweeted a poll to his followers asking ‘Do you want an edit button?’ However, this tool has nothing to do with the poll at all.
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
Twitter recently ran an April Fool’s Day Tweet that said ‘We are working on an edit button’ while Twitter’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey, stated that they will probably never do it.
we are working on an edit button
— Twitter (@Twitter) April 1, 2022
After a few days, Twitter followed up on the tweet to clarify one thing: the edit button is in the works. The company has been working on bringing the edit button since last year.
now that everyone is asking…
yes, we’ve been working on an edit feature since last year!
no, we didn’t get the idea from a poll 😉
we're kicking off testing within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) April 5, 2022
According to this announcement, Twitter plans on making the feature available in the coming months to its Twitter Blue subscribers first as a ‘Labs’ feature. This is to “learn what works, what doesn’t and what’s possible”.
Twitter’s Head of Product, Jay Sullivan highlighted the edit button’s potential to increase the amount of misleading content on Twitter.
3/ Without things like time limits, controls, and transparency about what has been edited, Edit could be misused to alter the record of the public conversation. Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work.
— Jay Sullivan (@jaysullivan) April 5, 2022
How exactly will the edit button work?
How an edit button could work on the platform is not clear. Twitter could allow for edits early in a tweet’s lifespan or have a history of the tweet edits so that one is held accountable if they change a viral tweet.
The actual release seems like it will be a bit into the future, so if you’re a free Twitter user, don’t expect on seeing the feature anytime soon. But it would be a very exciting feature to use.
Tech companies often have a history of turning April Fool’s Day jokes into features. For example, Google hinted at Gmail on 1st April 2004.