One of Twitter’s cornerstones has been that it doesn’t have an edit button. For years, it continued to state that it won’t add one since that’s the joy of Twitter—whatever you share is left as you shared it. A moment in time captured in perpetuity.
Now, changes are coming, and the prospect of getting an edit button seems closer than ever. So, let’s look at how beneficial the addition of an edit function will be for the platform.
Managing a Tweet After You Post It
Right now, there’s not much you can do once you post and share your tweet. You can specify who can reply to your tweet, and you can mute it once you’ve posted it so that you don’t receive any notifications on it, which is particularly handy if it goes viral.
However, if you’ve spelled something wrong or shared the incorrect link or image, all you can do to the tweet is either delete and repost it or reply to your own tweet clarifying. Given how every other social media platform seems to have some form of an edit button, that’s often not enough, and many people find Twitter lacking in that aspect.
This is why the news that the platform is finally adding an edit button was initially ignored as an April Fool’s prank once the company tweeted it. However, Twitter later clarified it’s true, and it’s in testing for a select number of users, so it can see ‘‘what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.’’
Why Twitter Getting an Edit Button Is a Good Thing
We can derive many positives from Twitter finally adding an edit button after years of refusing to entertain the idea. Let’s explore a few of the possible benefits, shall we?
1. No More Typos
The ability to edit tweets will finally tackle the typo.
Sometimes you click post, and after a single re-read, you realize that you made a typo or some grammatical error. So, an edit button would help you if you missed an apostrophe.
Mistakes happen but, for whatever reason, since Twitter’s inception, people have acted as if the person making the error is the outlier and not the other way around. Then, a barrage of replies or quote tweets follow, pointing out the mistake.
Editing will finally spare you having to suffer through a ton of people pointing out the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ even though it was autocorrected and not left that way by choice.
2. No Need for a Do-Over
If you’ve messed something up in your original tweet, like adding a link or image you didn’t intend to, your only course of action is to delete the tweet and repost.
Another scenario could be that you think you’ve made your point clear, yet people aren’t getting it, and you need to rephrase your words so that your stance is clearer. If you delete the post altogether, it looks like you’re deleting everyone else’s opinion instead of trying to improve your language and engage in the conversation.
Also, if you catch a mistake after your tweet’s already garnered attention and big numbers, by deleting it, you risk not reaching the same heights and losing out on a potential sponsored tweet under the viral one.
If you could just edit your original tweet to make your point clearer, switch out a link or image, or whatever else you messed up the first time, you’ll deal with your mistake in a much simpler and cleaner way rather than going ahead and deleting your post.
3. Twitter Will Catch Up to Other Platforms
Most, if not all, other social media platforms allow you to edit your posts after sharing them. So, whether it’s a comment, a reply, or anything else, you can go back and make edits once you post it. And if you do edit, it usually says ‘Edited,’ so other people know it’s not your original post.
Twitter was the outlier, and it made it stand out from others, and not always in a positive way. If the platform introduces an edit button, it will finally be like all the other platforms that allow edits after years of toying with the idea.
4. Editing Both the New and the Old
Editing won’t only help with recent posts but older ones too. For example, the option to revise your tweets allows you to go back to previous posts and improve them as new information comes out.
That’s especially true if you’re tweeting about a situation that’s still developing. You can go back to your previous tweets and add the new data as you get more details. That way, you don’t have to delete your earlier tweets if they no longer apply or reply to people to add more information. You can simply amend them and ensure they reflect the new info you’ve learned.
5. Edits Will Help Against the Spread of Misinformation
Misinformation on the platform has sadly become normalized, something that’s part of the Twitter experience.
As it stands now, if anyone tweets a link or opinion that’s later proven to be misinformation, their only available courses of action are either to delete the post or to tweet more.
There’s no point in deleting a tweet after the damage has already been done. Even if people can no longer go back to your false post, other people would have likely screenshotted it anyway, and the spread will continue. If you add a reply or quote your own tweet and clarify, it’s something, but it’s still not enough as most people aren’t likely to check again. They’ll just run with your original misinformed tweet.
That’s why an edit button would be grand. You’d be able to amend your statement, and when people go to your tweet, they’ll see it’s no longer spreading falsehoods.
Even if people have screenshotted the original, you won’t be displaying it anymore at least, and it will be verifiably changed to reflect the truth.
The Right Way to Add the Edit Button on Twitter
Twitter’s announcement on finally adding an edit button is major news. But as excited as people are, there are still valid concerns about whether the company will implement the change the right way. So, it’s a good thing the platform’s testing what works and what doesn’t.
Yes, everyone wants to be able to edit their tweets if there’s an accidental typo, but what if people misuse the feature? The platform needs to have safeguards in place.
The easiest one would be to add an ‘Edited’ flag to the tweet so that people know the tweeter made changes. An even better feature would be to have a ‘See Original’ option like Facebook. That way, you know what it was before it got changed, and people won’t be able to bait others into going viral with hot takes and then changing their posts once they’ve achieved notoriety.
No matter how long it takes the platform to roll out the edit button to all users, everyone is buzzing in anticipation, hoping the company will implement the feature correctly.
How Should Twitter Let You Edit Your Tweets?
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