Twitter Edit Tweet Feature Finally Arrives: Here's How It Works

Twitter is one of social media's big boys. It has over 300 million human users, with a debatable number of bots. It provides a space where businesses, celebrities, and world leaders can connect with the general public. And it is also powerful enough to silence the person who was, at the time, in charge of the world's most powerful military. Despite all this the platform has a pretty glaring limitation: you can't edit your tweets. But you may be able to soon.

Typos on Twitter are pretty commonplace. They can make the tweeter look silly and cost them an argument, which is a problem as Twitter is the place people go to argue. A typo can also take the shine off that one perfect tweet that's just popped into your head. Previously, the only way to fix an error was to delete the tweet entirely and write a new one. This was impractical; it could derail a thread, leave replies floating in the void, and cost users time. It's actually quite shocking Twitter has taken over 16 years to come up with any kind of edit feature.

Twitter is testing an edit button

The social media platform has told users not to worry if they see edited tweets popping up. Twitter claims it is in the process of testing the feature everyone has been waiting for. The news broke on September 1, with a pre 9 AM tweet from the company's official Twitter account, accompanied by a blog post which goes into more detail.

At present, the feature is only being tested by Twitter's staff. Twitter Blue users will be the first members of the public to get access to the feature, and can expect to see an edit button arrive on their tweets later this month. The subscription service costs $2.99 a month, and provides access to a range of features regular Twitter users don't have, along with early access to features like Edit Tweet before they receive a full release. As things stand, there is no set date for a full release of the tweet editing feature, and the company says initial testing will be limited to one country at first.

How will editing tweets work?

The feature itself will give users a "short period of time" to make changes to a tweet. They can use this time to fix typos, add punctuation, and insert missing tags. During the testing phase, this period is limited to 30 minutes. If that follows on to the full release, you are presumably out of luck when the window closes.

Twitter has also limited the possibility of people editing tweets to cover up general stupidity. The feature has been designed to "protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said," according to the company. An edited tweet will be clearly marked with "an icon, timestamp, and label." Other users will also be able to view the tweet's edit history and see previous versions, along with what changes have been made. So you can fix a glaring typo that makes you look a bit silly, or drop in a hashtag you forgot — but you can't use the edit feature to get the edge in an argument.