No joke: Twitter has confirmed that it’s working an edit feature which would allow users to tweak their tweets after posting. The social media platform had initially revealed the news in a one-line tweet on April 1, but it was widely interpreted as an April Fool’s gag (it didn’t help that when asked about the seriousness of the post, Twitter’s response at the time was: “We cannot confirm or deny, but we may edit our statement later”). On Tuesday, the communications team tweeted that the company has in fact been developing the feature since last year — and in a winking reference to new board member, Elon Musk, said that the idea did not come from a poll.
Musk, who earlier this week became the company’s largest shareholder, had asked users in a survey: “Do you want an edit button?” The results of the poll showed nearly 74% of about 4.4 million respondents are for it. And Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is certainly taking it seriously, encouraging people to “vote carefully.”
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully. https://t.co/UDJIvznALB
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
now that everyone is asking…
yes, we’ve been working on an edit feature since last year!
no, we didn’t get the idea from a poll 😉
we’re kicking off testing within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) April 5, 2022
Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s Head of Consumer Product, also tweeted about the testing, saying the company has been “exploring how to build an Edit feature in a safe manner since last year.” He noted that Edit has been the most requested feature for many years, but, “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. Protecting the integrity of that public conversation is our top priority when we approach this work.”
An Edit feature would allow users to fix mistakes, typos and hot takes without losing comments, retweets or likes a post has already accrued. Currently, users must delete and retweet if they want to change something.
1/ We’ve been exploring how to build an Edit feature in a safe manner since last year and plan to begin testing it within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months. Sharing a few more insights on how we’re thinking about Edit 🧵 https://t.co/WbcfkUue8e
— Jay Sullivan (@jaysullivan) April 5, 2022
we are working on an edit button
— Twitter (@Twitter) April 1, 2022