Twitter announces highly anticipated Edit Tweet function

·3-min read
Twitter announces highly anticipated Edit Tweet function

Twitter has announced that the sought-after Edit Tweet feature is finally coming.

Hot on the heels of Twitter Circle, the Edit Tweet function is already being tested by Twitter employees. It will be rolled out to the platform’s premium monthly subscribers of Twitter Blue, in one country in the coming weeks.

Unlike other social-media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where captions to posts can be edited easily, Twitter has avoided making this possible for Tweets until now, despite plenty of urging from users.

Even now, the platform has made clear that they will be keeping a close eye on how the function is used - or misused - among test users to weed out any problems before it’s rolled out for general use.

On top of this, there are a few key limitations on the feature to keep Twitter uses in line, including how long you’ll be able to edit Tweets for and making edit histories public.

Here’s a closer look at how Edit Tweet will work.

What is Edit Tweet?

Edit Tweet will only be available for 30 minutes after posting the original Tweet, intended to allow users to change typos, add links, or include missed tags.

During the test period for Twitter Blue subscribers, users can edit Tweets multiple times within that 30-minute window.

Once edited, Tweets will appear with an icon, timestamp, and label to clearly show that it has been modified. Clicking on the label will also reveal the edit history of the Tweet, so other users can see what has been changed.

During the test period, anyone will be able to see when Tweets have been edited, not just Twitter Blue subscribers.

Twitter states in its announcement blog that both of these elements are to “protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said”.

Importantly, with all edit histories still publicly available, this means that editing a Tweet will not take the original Tweet out of the public domain.

This goes some way to addressing a key concern of editing Tweets: on a platform where discussions often turn volatile, how do you stop users from abusing the function and retroactively altering what they initially said?

Twitter is hoping that these limiting features will do the job, but also emphasise that it will be keeping a close eye on how the new feature impacts how test users engage with each other.

“We’re hoping that, with the availability of Edit Tweet, Tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful,” Twitter writes. “You should be able to participate in the conversation in a way that makes sense to you, and we’ll keep working on ways that make it feel effortless to do just that.”

With the parameters in place that Twitter has outlined, this Edit Tweet function initially strikes a strong balance between allowing people to make small changes they missed the first-time round and preventing people from misrepresenting past Tweets.