An edit tweet button is still on the cards for Twitter
However, that may change as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed the firm was still interested in editable tweets. In fact, the only real reason it’s not happened is because Twitter isn’t quite sure how to implement them.
Speaking at a tech conference in New Delhi, India, Dorsey explained that he and the Twitter team only want editable tweets when they can be done “the right way”.
“We’ve been considering edit for quite some time, but we have to do it the right way, we can’t just rush it out,” Dorsey said. “A lot of people want [to be able to] edit because they make mistakes on Twitter and they want to quickly fix them – they don’t want to look bad.”
As Dorsey explained, the trouble with editing tweets is that if you allow free reign, it could lead to distortions of the original tweet’s meaning. Factor in the number of RTs it has, and you could very quickly use an edit ability to spread a very different message from what was initially tweeted out.
“If I tweet something that you agree with and then you retweet that, and then I edit my tweet to something you disagree with, you’ve now retweeted something you disagree with and that’s what we need to prevent.”
It’s not hopeless though, Twitter is seriously looking into the possibilities of editable tweets because, like any large company, it doesn’t want to alienate its users by refusing to listen to their most requested feature.
“There’s a bunch of things that we could do to show a change log and show how a tweet has been changed, and we’re looking at this stuff,” Dorsey explained, “but ultimately we need to make sure that we are solving a real problem and solving a use case that people are seeing as friction within the service and making that easy for people to do”.
Dorsey has echoed similar statements around editable tweets since 2016, so many people aren’t getting their hopes up on it just yet. However, Twitter is in the midst of change. At the same event in New Delhi, Dorsey explained how he has a desire to scrap follower counts and earlier this year he explained how Twitter could be doing away with the “like” button. Twitter also succumbed to user pressure and created an option for users to revert their Twitter feed back to a chronological timeline instead.
So, while editable tweets may still be a way off, at least it looks like we’re one step closer to the beautiful reality of being able to go back and fix those embarrassing typos.