Twitter announced earlier this month that it is working on the long-awaited Edit button, which sounded like an April Fool’s joke at first.
While the specifics of this new feature are unknown, it appears that the social network will at the very least preserve a record of initial tweets even if the Edit button is utilized.
Even with the addition of the Edit Tweet option, according to app analyst Jane Manchun Wong, tweets would stay “unchanged.” Wong explains that, rather than changing the original tweet, the platform would create a new one with a different ID, based on her findings.
Twitter will also save a copy of the original tweet, as well as any previous edits made by the user. While we don’t know what Twitter plans to do with this information, it’s easy to imagine that other Twitter users will be able to see previous versions of an edited tweet.
Twitter’s decision to create a new ID for the edited tweet could also mean that tweets embedded in websites will remain in their original versions rather than the edited versions, protecting third-party websites from potentially edited tweets.
What the edit button might look like
While we’ve seen a preview of how the button will look on iOS, we haven’t seen how the workflow will be like. This is changing thanks to renowned Twitter sleuths Alessandro Paluzzi and Nima Owji, who discovered parts of the workflow in the social network’s web version.
Paluzzi was able to activate a hidden editor for an existing tweet, as shown in the screenshot. With the exception of a minor change, it resembles the regular tweet editor. Paluzzi also demonstrated what the edit button will look like in an existing tweet’s context menu, where it’s aptly named “Edit Tweet.”
While Paluzzi was able to pull up the interface, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to change his tweets retroactively just yet.
Nima Owji, another app researcher, has also demonstrated the edit workflow in a screen recording. When he selects the edit option from the menu, he is returned to the tweet editor, where the recent live text is displayed and tweakable.
Moreover, the feature currently has no timeout, allowing Paluzzi to access the interface for any old tweet, but based on what we’ve heard so far about the edit button, that won’t be the case when it debuts.
Paluzzi and Owji haven’t found any indication that edited tweets will have logs or markings, but that will almost certainly change before the feature goes live.
So far, we’ve learned that the edit button will initially be available only to Twitter Blue subscribers.
According to Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s head of consumer product, the company is still actively seeking feedback on how the edit button should work best for the platform, taking into account the likelihood that bad actors could change public records or change statements retroactively.
Edits are likely to be restricted in some way, such as by time limits or logs, and edited tweets may lose all likes and retweets from before they were changed.