Twitter Trials Edit Tweet Function

Twitter continues on its path to deliver one of the most requested features by users of the micro blogging platform.

The platform in a blog post confirmed it was trialing an editing feature that allows users to change tweets up to 30 minutes after they are published – but lets people view prior versions.

The feature has been a long time coming, and was even thrust into the public limelight by Elon Musk earlier this year.

Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk. Image credit: SpaceX

Long time coming

Shortly after Elon Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder in April, he publicly campaigned on the issue.

Indeed, Musk lost little time in exercising his newly found influence, when he posted a poll about the platform asking users whether they wanted an Edit Button.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who took over from Jack Dorsey late last year, reacted quickly to the poll when he retweeted it and asked users to consider the consequences and vote carefully.

It should be noted that on 1 April (April Fools’ Day), Twitter had tweeted a message on its official account, saying it was working on the long-awaited “edit” feature.

When asked if the tweet was a joke, the platform had replied, “We cannot confirm or deny but we may edit our statement later.”

Then days after Musk’s poll, Twitter confirmed it would start testing the idea in the coming months.

Fast forward five months and Twitter on Thursday confirmed that Edit Tweet is being tested by its team internally.

It provided the following screenshot.

Twitter Edit test

Edit history

“The test will then be initially expanded to Twitter Blue subscribers in the coming weeks,” it said. “Given that this is our most requested feature to date, we wanted to both update you on our progress and give you a heads up that, even if you’re not in a test group, everyone will still be able to see if a Tweet has been edited.”

Twitter said the feature will allow users to make changes to their Tweet after it’s been published for a short time, to fix typos, add missed tags, and more.

“For this test, Tweets will be able to be edited a few times in the 30 minutes following their publication,” it said. “Edited Tweets will appear with an icon, timestamp, and label so it’s clear to readers that the original Tweet has been modified. Tapping the label will take viewers to the Tweet’s Edit History, which includes past versions of the Tweet.”

Twitter says the time limit and version history play an important role here, as they will “help protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said.”

Twitter said later this month, it will expanding Edit Tweet access to Twitter Blue subscribers.

“As part of their subscription, they receive early access to features and help us test them before they come to Twitter,” it said. “The test will be localised to a single country at first and expand as we learn and observe how people use Edit Tweet. We’ll also be paying close attention to how the feature impacts the way people read, write, and engage with Tweets.”

“We’re hoping that, with the availability of Edit Tweet, Tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful,” it said. “You should be able to participate in the conversation in a way that makes sense to you, and we’ll keep working on ways that make it feel effortless to do just that.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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