Twitter might keep a record of tweet history when the Edit button is used

Twitter’s Edit button will come with version histories. It will apparently preserve the original tweet while creating a new one that includes all your edits.

Twitter's bird logo set against a transparent background
  • A long-awaited feature that would permit you to edit a tweet after it’s published is set to launch in the coming months for Twitter Blue subscribers.
  • According to new evidence, Twitter might keep a track of tweet history even after the Edit button is used to update a live tweet.
  • The original tweet will remain unchanged because updating a published tweet may reportedly create an entirely new tweet using a different ID.

Twitter’s Edit button will keep a track of tweet history

Although Twitter has not detailed how the upcoming Edit button will work, reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong has managed to uncover evidence of how the feature might work from the app’s code. She shared her findings in a Twitter post, explaining that Twitter may create a whole new tweet after the Edit button is used. As a result, the original tweet could remain intact on any websites it’s embedded on.

“Looks like Twitter’s approach to Edit tweet is immutable, as in, instead of mutating the tweet text within the same tweet (same ID), it re-creates a new tweet with the amended content, along with the list of the old tweets prior of that edit,” she says.

To reiterate, Twitter’s approach to tweet editing would both preserve the original, un-edited tweet while re-publishing an edited version of the post as a new tweet. That’s somewhat similar to how some third-party Twitter clients work. In Twitterrific, for instance, you can choose to edit a tweet but it’s not what you think—this feature simply deletes the current tweet and publishes a new one with your edits.

As far as some other key details, including just how long a tweet can be published before it runs out of time to be edited, those remain a mystery. Twitter says it will be revealing more on the Edit button and the features tied to it at a later date, but didn’t provide a concrete window. Read: How to create lists on Twitter

As Twitter recently announced, the company has actually set out to implement an Edit button in its mobile app for iOS [App Store link] and Android, with public testing of the feature scheduled to begin in the coming months. In a demo of the feature on the Twitter app, users are able to click on the details button of a tweet to see an “Edit Tweet” entry that joins the already available options. The company said earlier it would limit testing of the Edit button to Twitter Blue subscribers, indicating that this feature could easily be limited to paid subscribers.