2022 was Twitter’s strangest year yet, but here’s news that will make some people very happy: The company says paying Twitter Blue customers in New Zealand will have access to an edit button later this month. A wider rollout will follow, starting with Twitter Blue subscribers in Australia, Canada and the US
Back in the spring, Twitter confirmed it was working on a feature that let users edit tweets after they are published. People have been begging for the option since shortly after the service’s launch in 2006. But when asked about it, former CEO Jack Dorsey alternated between sounds like he was in no rush to add it and helpfully explaining why it would be a terrible idea. Even Kim Kardashian couldn’t do it convince him to make it so.
Twitter’s hesitation on the matter contrasted with Facebook, which had long had an edit option. All along, some experts have claimed that: add one would be a dangerous mistake. What if a troll tweeted something innocent and accurate, collecting likes, retweets and replies and then edited the original tweet to spread misinformation or just confuse or embarrass people?
To help prevent such abuse, there is a 30 minute edit limit and a limit on how many times you can re-edit a tweet. A prominent label shows that the tweet has been edited; tapping it will show the editing history and previous versions. As users access the feature, Twitter says it will seek out and further refine their feedback. The company adds that this testing process will help it understand what would happen if it brought the feature to all users, not just Twitter Blue subscribers.
None of this should get in the way of the edit button serving its most obvious, mundane purpose: allowing all of us sloppy typists to correct our typos. (For example, I will pay the Twitter Blue fee of $5 per month once I have the ability to edit.) Still, this will be the biggest change to Twitter’s core functionality since the service doubled its iconic 140-character limit by nearly five. years ago. It’s hard to even visualize a Twitter that not only has slightly fewer typos, but is also devoid of people complaining that there is no way to correct them.