Twitter has officially confirmed that it is finally adding the one feature users have requested for years: The edit button. The social media giant’s communications team said in a tweet Tuesday evening that it has been working on the elusive feature for the past year, relieving concerns that it was an April Fool’s joke after it was announced for the first time on Friday.
Instead of rolling out the edit button to everyone as it has done with some other features, the company said that plans to test it for Twitter Blue subscribers “in the coming months.” To further confirm the reality of the feature, it pointed out that it didn’t get the idea from the poll created by Elon Musk, who was just appointed to Twitter’s board of directors.
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) April 5, 2022
Twitter fans have been routinely asking for a way to edit tweets so that they can fix embarrassing typos and other mistakes, but without sacrificing the replies, likes, and retweets for the sake of sending a flawless message. Twitter’s head of consumer products Jay Sullivan shared his insights in a thread about how the edit button would be engineered so that it doesn’t get abused once it launches sitewide.
“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,” he said. “Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work. Therefore, it will take time and we will be actively seeking input and adversarial thinking in advance of launching Edit. We will approach this feature with care and thoughtfulness and we will share updates as we go.”
Sullivan’s thread echoes the concerns former CEO Jack Dorsey shared about an edit feature several years back. In 2018, he said he was reluctant about implementing the feature because it would allow some users to abuse it in order to revise their controversial tweets after the fact. In a video posted by Wired two years later, after reading a tweet asking if Twitter would ever add the edit button, he said, “The answer is no.” His reasoning was Twitter was programmed with the aesthetic of an SMS text messaging service, making it so that users can’t take back what they said in their tweets.
Facebook, Instagram, and Discord have added an edit feature in recent years to allow their users to fix their typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes after posting them with minimal issues. Twitter has been the exception until now, and many fans of the service will be happy to hear the oft-requested feature is officially on its way.
Outside the vague timeline of the “coming months,” it’s not clear when the edit feature will arrive for Twitter Blue subscribers or when it will make its way to all Twitter users or to mobile apps.
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