Twitter Has Been Thinking About Adding An Edit Button, Says CEO Jack Dorsey: Is It A Good Idea?


Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently asked what users would want to see or improve on the social media platform for 2017, and responses to the question have flooded in.

Some of the top requests include a bookmark button that would allow users to revisit their favorite accounts and tweets, as well as an improved system for reporting harassment. One of the most requested features for Twitter, however, is the addition of an edit button for tweets.

Dorsey's Question Blows Up On Twitter

Dorsey's tweet follows the one sent out by Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, who asked users on additions and improvements that they would want to see to the peer-to-peer accommodations service.

The tweet of Dorsey raked in massive responses, reaching 350 replies in less than 20 minutes since it was posted. As of the time of writing, the tweet has already received over 4,000 replies.

The good thing about Dorsey's tweet is that he actually asks follow-up questions to the suggestions that Twitter users make, which is how it was discovered that Twitter has been considering adding an edit button for some time.

Users Request For Ability To Edit Tweets

In one of the reply threads that suggested the ability to edit tweets, Dorsey asked if users would prefer to be able to edit tweets at any time or if there should only be a short window of about five minutes to be able to correct spelling mistakes and make quick corrections.

"We're thinking a lot about it," Dorsey added, revealing that the plan to add an edit button is not something new to Twitter.

In a separate reply thread, Dorsey noted the big difference in implementation if users can edit their tweets any time or can only do so over a short window. Due to Twitter often being used as public record of statements made by individuals, giving users the ability to edit tweets at any time will require an accessible changelog.

Is A Twitter Edit Button A Good Idea?

Adding an edit button to Twitter might sound like a good idea to some people, especially those who are prone to making typographical errors who have no choice but to delete the tweet and re-post it after corrections if they make such mistakes.

However, there is the possibility that an edit button will do more harm than good. What if a tweet gets re-tweeted hundreds of times after it was sent out, only for the original poster to edit the tweet to change what it means?

The short window to edit tweets could be a good compromise, but as seen in the flood of replies to Dorsey's question, even a period of five minutes can possibly already lead to hundreds of re-tweets. A revision history and an indication that a tweet has been edited could solve the issue, but would all these features be feasible to be added to tweets that are limited to 140 characters?

There is no indication on how an edit button for Twitter would function, if the feature would indeed be soon added to the platform. Users can only hope that if Dorsey and his team do decide to start offering the function, it would not be abused.

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