Will An Edit Button Ever Be Introduced To Twitter?

4th August 2017 / 3 minute read

twitter edit feature button

It’s needless to say that you, reading this right now, are a Twitter user. Whether you use Twitter for business or leisure, you will tweet away to your followers on a regular basis. Your followers could be friends, family, colleagues, clients, and in rare cases, people you admire. Whoever they are, you always want to offer the best type of tweet for your followers.

Clearly, Twitter is an extremely effective mode of social media that is used by millions. In fact, according to Omnicore’s Twitter fun facts, there are around 317 million monthly active users (source: https://www.omnicoreagency.com/twitter-statistics/), and a total of 500 millions tweets sent a day. There may only be a 140-character limit per tweet, but that’s still a great amount of words being written; a lot of potential spelling and formatting mistakes too!

Why people want an edit button

An edit button would offer people the option to tweak their tweet if they need to after it’s live. This freedom would mean that with an edit button, users can correct:

With many Twitter users managing their account through their mobile phone, we all know the horrors that can occur with the auto-correct function on your smartphone; typing a word like fudge could easily spell something else.

This is the main reason that Twitter users are calling for an edit function to be introduced – to correct any little errors that may have been missed on a final read through before tweeting it to all your followers.

The push for an edit button

The push for an edit button on Twitter has been going on for a while now, years even, and Twitter has yet to officially announce that it is in the works. The only real glimmer of hope that Twitter users have is through the statements and online interactions from Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey.

In reply to a Kim Kardashian tweet, where she encouraged an edit function, Jack embraced her idea by replying to her tweet, ‘great idea! We’re always looking at ways to make things faster and easier.’

Why has Twitter decided not to introduce it just yet?

The main reason for the reluctance from Twitter comes down to security concerns.

It’s clear to see that the edit button has worked wonders for Facebook users, which makes it frustrating for Twitter users. However, with Twitter, the amount of times a tweet can be retweeted is generally much larger than sharing on Facebook for the average user, and the edit function on Facebook is a little different to what Twitter requires.

An example of what could happen with an edit function: Facebook & Twitter

In a similar situation on Facebook, a group can be made by an admin, which then allows people to join the group, leading to the admin changing the page further down the line. If someone were to compose a tweet and users retweet it in mass numbers, the tweet could then be changed from talking about something topical to it becoming offensive or graphic.

This is the clear negative of an edit feature – it could open a wide range of problems for users. For people retweeting a tweet, they could believe that they have retweeted something both accurate and topical, only for it to be edited further down the line to something entirely different.

The solution for a tweet edit function

Users and Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, have suggested that if an edit button was to be introduced on Twitter, the edit function should only be available for a short time; maybe five or ten minutes after the tweet is published. This would avoid issues with the potential of a tweet being altered days, weeks or months after the tweet had originally been shared across Twitter.

Our thoughts

An edit button on Twitter would be effective for users. It’s extremely easy to make a mistake when typing, especially when using a mobile phone. It would eliminate the dread of composing a tweet and then having that same tweet staring back at you with glaring errors.

With any tweet, you should always read it carefully before tweeting it, that should be a given. But we can see the appeal of having that edit safety net after your tweet is live. We’re only human after all, and an edit function would allow us to redeem ourselves.

There are many articles across the internet that speak about the potential for an edit button on Twitter, but what do you think about it? Would you like to see an edit function on Twitter?

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