Twitter still won’t let you edit published tweets despite rumors about such a feature dating back to 2013. Indeed, how hard could building an Edit button for tweets be?
According to Twitter’s chief executive, his company has not abandoned the idea of building an Edit button for tweets but said it would be mostly used for fixing typos.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, The Next Web:
You have to pay attention to what are the use cases for the Edit button. A lot of people want the Edit button because they want to quickly fix a mistake they made. Like a misspelling or tweeting the wrong URL. That’s a lot more achievable than allowing people to edit any tweet all the way back in time.
That’s no doubt a tricky feature due to a lot of variables involved.
Do we let you edit a tweet only once? Or, do we permit users to edit a single tweet as many times as they want? And if we’re going to support unlimited edits, should we give people the way to see a history of all the edits?
Dorsey on preventing unlimited editing:
We have been considering this for a while and we have to do in the right way. We can’t just rush it out. We can’t make something which is distracting or takes anything away from the public record.
Dorsey and Co. should really ting this through and take a holistic approach to solving this problem. Otherwise, people could easily misuse such a feature to, say, change the meaning of their original tweet on a whim and thereby break the flow of comments.
I had a very good convo with @jack this weekend at Kanye’s bday and I think he really heard me out on the edit button.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 13, 2018
For instance, I could publish a viral tweet to collect a large amount of re-tweets or comments, then change it to display an ad. Edited tweets would also need to become immediately visible on both the user’s feed and on the feed of anyone who re-tweeted the tweet.
Again, tricky to pull off the right way.
How would you implement an Edit button if your were Twitter CEO?