We might have come one step closer to finally seeing a Twitter edit button, a feature on the social platform that is long overdue.
I could name several changes I’d like to see added to various social media platforms. A Twitter edit button has to be at the top of the list. (An Instagram edit button would probably be my second!)
The former may be a real possibility, however.
SocialMediaToday reported the news this week, saying Twitter confirmed it is working on one. Elon Musk, who just purchased 73.5 million shares of the company. recently conducted a poll of Twitter users on his own account.
The result? Almost three-quarters said they’d like to see a Twitter edit button:
It may actually be higher than that, given that some users might have been confused by the possible responses: yse or on instead of what we can assume should have been yes or no. Maybe Musk was demonstrating the need for an edit button. I see what he did there.
A Twitter edit button would be great.
Of course, anyone who has ever used Twitter already knows that.
How many times have any of us hit that Tweet button and then noticed a typo we missed? It happens to everyone.
Sometimes, when passing along information, additional details change the picture. Once in a while, new details can drastically change things. Do you prefer having no way to adjust other than deleting the tweet? What if people have already begun reacting or retweeting it? Do you give up the interactions? Tweeting updates don’t guarantee that everyone who has retweeted the original will see the newer information.
One user suggested a five-minute time limit to edit. That would be fine for typos, assuming everyone goes back and looks at their tweet as hard after it goes up as they did before. A time limit may not be a bad idea, but five minutes seems ridiculous to me. How about a week? How about a month? Even 24 hours would be better than five minutes.
If we’re worried about people “changing their story,” the solution is to take a page from Facebook. It indicates, with the word Edited, when a post has, in fact, been changed. Users can even click on that link to see the earlier version. So the earlier version stays for the sake of the record, but the correct information has a chance to be displayed with an edit.
If they’re worried about transparency, add one more feature: when a tweet is edited, add the word EDIT in all caps — maybe even in red — to the top of the tweet. Don’t count it against the user’s character limit, but do use it to show something changed. And make sure replies and retweets carry any updates as well. That way, when someone retweets, their followers see any edits as well.
Twitter needed an edit button from day one. Sixteen years after its debut, to call that feature “long overdue” would be an ultimate understatement.