This Is How Twitter's Upcoming Edit Button Could Work

Ever since Twitter made the remarkable announcement that an editing feature was finally coming, the platform has been abuzz with how it will be implemented. A bunch of developers and code sleuths has now given an idea of how the tweet editing feature might function for users. App researcher Nima Owji tweeted a GIF of the editing feature in action, showing how it will likely be accessed by tapping the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner of a tweet, followed by a selection of an "Edit Tweet" option. Once the necessary changes have been made, an update button will appear at the top. Tapping on the update button will most likely make the edited tweet live for all viewers.

Alessandro Paluzzi, another app researcher who frequently unearths upcoming features on social media platforms, also shared a screenshot that shows an Edit Tweet option. The Edit  feature will initially be available to Twitter Blue subscribers, the paid tier of Twitter that brings exclusive features such as the ability to undo tweets within 60 seconds, a nifty system to bookmark tweets, and a dedicated reader mode for reading threads among others. So far, Twitter hasn't shared a concrete release timeline for the editing feature, and it remains unclear if Twitter ever plans to release the feature to the masses without a subscription commitment.

Original tweet records will likely remain

When asked if Twitter will maintain a public-facing log of the edits made to a tweet, Paluzzi replied that such a system is currently not available, but it will be added before the tweet editing feature rolls out widely. Jane Manchung Wong, another app researcher who often spots in-development features, shared that the editing system doesn't really change a tweet's content permanently. Instead, it creates a new tweet with the edited content and assigns it a new Tweet ID. Notably, all the previous versions of that tweet would still appear in a list for viewers to see. However, it is unclear how many times users can edit the original tweet, or keep tweaking the contents of the edited tweets in the list.

Twitter has mulled the editing feature for a while now, but the sheer potential of abuse has derailed those ambitions in its infancy in the past. Despite their ills, tweets have often served as a meter of accountability, especially for people wielding influence and power. Allowing a controversial personality to go back a few years and sneakily edit all their bad takes would essentially be a digital whitewashing that would deceive people about a person's history. Former Twitter employee Ben Sangster, who was part of a team that researched the tweet editing feature back in 2015, also shared that the high potential for abuse is what kept the company from offering the edit functionality sooner.