How Twitter Should Implement the ‘Edit Tweet’ Button
The lack of an edit tweet function on Twitter has been a hot topic for a while now. We frequently make mention of it on our blog because of the endless memes and continuous outcry for it. No matter how much Twitter peeps plead, it's tough to gauge whether an 'Edit Tweet' button will ever arrive. Nevertheless, even if the chances of an edit button being a part of Twitter is less than likely, let’s discuss the ways in which Twitter could implement it.
Putting context at the forefront
One of the main issues on why an edit button could mess up the nature of tweets is how it could take some tweets out of context. For example: imagine seeing an unsuspecting tweet on your timeline that is starting to rack up some likes and retweets. If an edit button existed, the author of the original tweet could choose to edit the content of the tweet several hours after it was posted, and by the time it has reached its peak numbers, the overall content of the tweet had already been altered to something completely different. This can be used to manipulate opinions, spread misinformation, deliver shady marketing tactics, and more.
To avoid this from happening, one of the first things Twitter could do an edit button is giving users access to tweet’s changes history. A changes history will not only let users see what has been modified from the original tweet but may also provide users assurance that the context of the tweet they're reading isn't too far off from the original tweet.
The changes history may also show versions of the tweet that only have been massively modified from the original tweet (e.g. if 10 characters or more have been modified, it will reflect in the tweet’s changes history). That way, typos will still be hidden from the public’s eye.
Implementing an internal timer for edits
Another suggestion that the Twitterverse has come up with is an internal timer for edits. An internal timer will serve as sort of a countdown system that tells how much time users have until they can’t edit their tweets anymore. Some users have suggested that the internal timer can range from 5 minutes to 10 minutes, while others demand a 1 hour one. No matter how long the timer is though, it is a feature that will be welcomed by most users whenever Twitter decides to pull the trigger on the edit button.
The 'Undo' time window
Others have also suggested an undo button instead of an edit button, where users can undo any Tweet they put out within a specific time window. Though an undo button is cool, it is undeniable that some mistakes the community makes are only spotted 5 to 10 mins after the tweet had been published. Though users could also just use the delete tweet button if this happens.
Implementing an undo feature within a specific time frame could work, but it may not be the cleanest implementation of a Twitter edit button.
Although no implementation of an edit button will ever be considered "perfect" and some smart users will probably still find ways to abuse it to some extent, these three suggestions are the most compelling ideas at the moment.
Harsh truth: the edit button isn’t getting added any time soon
Unfortunately, the possibility of tweets being taken out of context isn’t the definite reason (though it may still be one) why Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, is very much against the addition of an edit button. Back in 2020, WIRED Tech Support featured Jack and of course, the infamous question regarding an edit button. He basically confirmed that Twitter is never getting an edit button since he wanted to keep the old vibes of text messages being permanent and unalterable.
Though his stance makes sense to some extent, the public outcry for an edit button continues without an end in sight.
At the end of the day, Twitter is still Twitter—with or without an edit button. There are no really other platforms like it, and as much as the Twitterverse hate some of the company’s decision, they have no choice but to stay and rant about it on the very platform itself: Twitter. Needless to say, we love Twitter—it is where we get content for hilarious tweets like these and turn them into your favorite tops!
What's your take on the edit button? Are you part of the Twitter peeps that desperately want it, or have you given up on it? Share your thoughts down below!