It wasn't April Fool's joke. Twitter is serious about the hotly debated edit button

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Apr 06, 2022, 01:06 PM IST
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A 3D-printed logo for Twitter. Photograph:(Reuters)

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There are certain cons as well, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter who stepped down as CEO last year, had long opposed an "edit" button 

So it was not an April Fool's joke! Twitter is serious about working on the long-awaited "edit" feature. The social media giant on Tuesday (April 5) announced that it will soon start experimenting with an edit button. The company also stated that initially, the so-called experimenting will be only on its monthly subscription service at first. 

On April 1, Twitter had tweeted a message on its official account, saying it was working on the long-awaited "edit" feature. But people thought it was a joke. The company had then said, "We cannot confirm or deny but we may edit our statement later." 

On Twitter, users can't edit the posts. In case of mistakes, they either re-tweet the correction or delete the post and tweet it again. The inability to tweak tweets after firing them off has been a key complaint among Twitter users. 

In a long thread, Jay Sullivan, the company's head of consumer product, mentioned that "Edit" has been the most requested Twitter feature "for many years." 

"People want to be able to fix (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes, typos and hot takes in the moment. They currently work around this by deleting and tweeting again," Sullivan said. 

The firm said it will kick off testing in the coming months to figure out what works when it comes to letting users tinker with posts after they have gone live. 

Twitter Blue lets people pay a monthly subscription fee of $3 to access special content or features. Blue is available on the Twitter application for Apple or Android smartphones in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, according to the company. 

The debate got reignited when Tesla boss Elon Musk, who recently joined Twitter's board, conducted an online poll. In a tweet, Musk asked if people wanted an edit button. Nearly 4.4 million votes were cast, some 73 per cent of them saying "yes." 

The latest post by Twitter's communications account stated that "now that everyone is asking... yes, we've been working on an edit feature since last year". Poking fun at Musk, it added, "No, we didn’t get the idea from a poll." 

WATCH | 'Do you want an edit button?' asks Elon Musk after he joins Twitter's board

What are the cons of the 'Edit' button? 

There are certain cons as well, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter who stepped down as CEO last year, had long opposed an "edit" button on the basis that users could change a tweet that had already been widely shared, changing its meaning or context. 

Sullivan addressed those concerns in his posts. "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," he said, adding that that company's top priority is "protecting the integrity of that public conversation." 

He noted that "it will take time" to develop the "Edit" feature and the company will be "actively seeking input and adversarial thinking" in advance of its launch.