After years of begging for an “edit” button, Twitter users may finally get their wish. Last week, Twitter announced their team is testing an “edit” button internally. The “edit” feature will allow Twitter users to edit a tweet after it has been published to fix typos, add hashtags, etc. During the test, Twitter said tweets could be edited a few times in the 30 minutes immediately following publication.
Edited tweets will be marked as revised with an icon, timestamp, and a label so readers know when a tweet has been revised after its original publication. Twitter users can then click on the tweet’s edit history to see the previous versions of the tweet.
“For context, the time limit and version history play an important role here. They help protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said,” Twitter wrote in a September 1, 2022 blog post.
If the test is successful, Twitter will expand testing of the “edit” button to Twitter Blue subscribers later this month. Twitter clarified that this is one of the benefits to being a Twitter Blue subscriber – early access to features and the ability to help test and provide feedback on those features.
“Given that this is our most requested feature to date, we wanted to both update you on our progress and give you a heads up that, even if you’re not in a test group, everyone will still be able to see if a Tweet has been edited,” said Twitter.
Initially, testing will be limited to a single country, though Twitter didn’t say which country. They want to closely observe how the “edit” feature impacts what people read and write on Twitter and how they engage with tweets.
“We’re hoping that, with the availability of Edit Tweet, Tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful. 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,” Twitter said.
Though Twitter made an official announcement of the “edit” feature test last week, they confirmed they were working on it in April. In fact, the social media platform said they had been working on an edit button for the last year. The news came from the @TwitterComms account to clarify that the idea did not come from a poll, referencing a poll Elon Musk, the company’s largest shareholder, tweeted, asking users if they wanted an edit button. The company said they would start testing within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months to see what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible. At that time, Twitter share the following screenshot:
The timing of this new/additional test is interesting, because Twitter has been making headlines since the spring with the on-again-off-again merger deal with Elon Musk valued at $44 billion. The case will go to trial soon to determine if Musk will be forced to buy Twitter despite his claims that they misled him by not providing requested information about spam bots and fake accounts. Meanwhile, a whistleblower, the former head of security at Twitter, alleges that Twitter is ignoring and downplaying cybersecurity vulnerabilities that impact users, user data, and national security. Tooting (or tweeting) their own horn right now may be an attempt to deflect negative public opinion and garner a little favor before they go to court.