Twitter really is about to let people edit their tweets
2022 has been Twitter’s weirdest year yet, but here’s news that will make some people very happy: The company says that paying Twitter Blue customers in New Zealand will get access to an edit button later this month. A broader rollout will come thereafter, starting with Twitter Blue subscribers in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.
Back in the spring, Twitter confirmed that it was working on a feature that would let users edit tweets after they’d been published. People have been begging for that option since shortly after the service launched in 2006. But when asked about it, former CEO Jack Dorsey alternated between sounding like he was in no hurry to add it and helpfully explaining why it would be a terrible idea. Even Kim Kardashian couldn’t convince him to make it so.
Twitter’s hesitance on the matter has stood in contrast to Facebook, which has long had an editing option. All along, some pundits have argued that adding one would be a dangerous mistake. What if a troll tweeted something innocuous and accurate, racked up likes, retweets, and replies, and then edited the original tweet to spread misinformation or just plain confuse or embarrass people?
To help prevent such abuse, there will be a 30-minute limit for edits and a limit on how often you can re-edit a tweet. A prominent label will show that the tweet was edited; tapping it will show the edit history and prior versions. As users get access to the feature, Twitter says it will seek their feedback and refine it further. The company adds that this testing process will help it understand what would happen if it were to bring the feature to all users, not just Twitter Blue subscribers.
None of this should stand in the way of the edit button serving its most obvious, mundane purpose: allowing all of us sloppy typists to fix our typos. (I for one will be ponying up the $5/month Twitter Blue fee just as soon as it gets me editing capability.) Still, this will be the biggest change to core Twitter functionality since the service doubled its iconic 140-character limit almost five years ago. It’s tough to even visualize a Twitter that’s not only at least slightly less typo-ridden—but also devoid of people complaining that there’s no way to correct their mistakes.