27 December 2019
Ever since Twitter started to gain popularity around the world, one of the most commonly requested features has been the ability to edit a tweet. Users want an option/button to edit their tweets so that they can rectify issues like misspelling, wrong URL, incorrect URL, wrong media upload or maybe even forgot to add media. Twitter has suggested that it may bring 'add tweet' option in the past but as per a new announcement, it has no plans of doing that.
In an exclusive video for Wired, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took some Twitter-related questions and answered them from his own Twitter account. It is an 11-minute long video but he answers a question about tweet editing around the 3-minute mark. The user asks "can we get that edit tweet button in 2020?". The short answer from Dorsey is "No" which he goes on to explain a bit.
Dorsey explained that Twitter started as an SMS text messaging service and as it is the case with SMSes, you can't edit or take it back once you have sent it. The team wanted to "preserve that vibe, that feeling, in the early days" which is the reason they never added an edit button in all these years.
In the context of the modern usage of Twitter via apps and websites, Dorsey is conscious because of the retweeting feature. He gave an example where a user retweets a tweet but the original author decides to edit the tweet and change its content. It will result in the user retweeting that new content even though he retweeted it because of the original post. This can result in misuse of tweet editing capability. He added that they have also considered adding a time-limit for edit (like 30 seconds or a minute) but even then there is a chance of misuse, especially for accounts with a huge following.
Dorsey goes on to wrap up the whole answer by adding, "We have made some practical considerations, but we will probably never do it". So there you have it. Twitter is very unlikely to give you the ability to edit your tweets. We are saying unlikely because he did use "probably" in the answer which does give some hope, even if it is a tiny one.