On April 2, Twitter announced that they “are working on an edit button,” but some treated it as a part of April Fools’ Day, given that the feature has always been demanded by users but is still unavailable until now. The Twitter Communications team then verified the announcement through another post on April 6 saying, “ps: we weren’t joking.” The post also says that the company has been working on it since last year and includes a gif of a future Edit button on the mobile Twitter app. Moreover, the post mentions that the company “didn’t get the idea from a poll,” which probably refers to the poll conducted by Elon Musk asking if his 80.7 million followers wanted an Edit button, resulting in 4.4 million votes, with 73.6% saying “yes.”
The post, which was posted by the Twitter Communications team, noted that the project will be started in the TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months “to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.”
“We’ve been exploring how to build an Edit feature in a safe manner since last year and plan to begin testing it within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months. Sharing a few more insights on how we’re thinking about Edit,” writes Jay Sullivan, VP of consumer product at Twitter, in another post.
The feature has always been highly requested by a lot of Twitter users. However, it is still unavailable due to concerns about being misused in editing the original content of the post. Sullivan mentioned that people who want to “fix (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes, typos and hot takes in the moment” find a workaround in deleting and tweeting their posts. Giving the people the Edit button means making it easier to change their earlier statements, which can twist the original story/content posted.
“Without things like time limits, controls, and transparency about what has been edited, Edit could be misused to alter the record of the public conversation,” the post reads. “Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work. Therefore, it will take time and we will be actively seeking input and adversarial thinking in advance of launching Edit. We will approach this feature with care and thoughtfulness and we will share updates as we go. This is just one feature we are exploring as we work to give people more choice and control over their Twitter experience, foster a healthy conversation, and help people be more comfortable on Twitter. These are the things that motivate us every day.”
That being said, while there is undeniably a large mass of users who want the Edit button, some are still hesitant and against the idea of having it. Nonetheless, given that Twitter still has time, we can just hope the company could find ways to design the new feature with sufficient capability to resist abuse.