Exclusive: Even though people have been asking for an edit button for years, Twitter is finally about to add it.
The social network confirmed that testing for a feature called “Edit Tweets” was almost done and that it would be available to users “in the coming weeks.”
But users will only be able to change what they’ve posted under strict rules, such as a 30-minute edit window, so that there is “a public record of what was said.”
Social media experts have cautiously welcomed the change, as well as the new rules that treat tweets like “publications.”
After years of requests and rumours, Twitter confirmed on Thursday that it was working on a way to change tweets.
In a blog post, the company said, “It’s true: Our team is testing Edit Tweet right now.”
“Then, in the coming weeks, the test will be made available to Twitter Blue users first.”
It is thought that Twitter will pay its users in one country to test the editing feature first. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US could be among the countries chosen.
Since the tech giant chose Australia for the launch of its $4.99 per month subscription service with a “undo” button in June 2021, Australia has a good chance of being the first.
The new editing feature on Twitter will work the same way. Users will be able to change what they’ve posted on the social network up to three times in the first 30 minutes after it goes live.
Tweets that have been changed will have an icon, a timestamp, and a label to show that they have been changed.
Other users will also be able to click on a link to see the original tweet and see what has been changed.
The company said, “For context, the time limit and version history are important here.” “They help keep the conversation honest and make a record of what was said that anyone can see.”
The company confirmed that the new feature won’t change the content of retweets or quote-tweets on the network. Instead, it will show the original post with a link to the new, edited version.
Dr. Belinda Barnet, a senior lecturer in social media at Swinburne University, called the change “massive” for the social network. She said that so many people had asked for an edit feature that it was “almost a running joke.”
She said, “Twitter users have been asking for an edit button since the site first started, but it’s been hard to add because if you’re going to do it right, you need to keep track of what was said.”
“At the moment, what you tweet is set in stone unless you delete it or someone takes a screenshot of it. This gives you the chance to change that while still letting people know what the tweet said.
Dr. Barnet said that putting the change into place would be “complicated,” but he liked that Twitter had tried to keep a record of what was first posted, “like a publication.” Editing tweets is expected to be available in September.