Twitter on Thursday announced it has started internal testing of a long-requested feature that will allow people to edit tweets after they are sent.
The company said ‘Edit Tweet’ is currently being tested by internal teams, but it will not be free.
In the test, users will be allowed to edit tweets a few times within a 30-minute window after they’re posted.
Edited tweets will appear with an icon, label and timestamp so “it’s clear to readers that the original Tweet has been modified,” the company said in a blog post.
Twitter says it is taking a slow and cautious approach for this particular feature because it wants to identify and resolve potential issues. It also wants to get a full grasp of how people could misuse the feature before it becomes widely available.
Since Twitter is a public platform, the ‘edit’ option has raised fears that it could be used to hide past trolling activities and not just the odd typo.
“We’re hoping that, with the availability of ‘Edit Tweet’, Tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful,” the company said.
“You should be able to participate in the conversation in a way that makes sense to you, and we’ll keep working on ways that make it feel effortless to do just that.”
After years of resisting calls to add an edit button, Twitter in April announced that it was working on the feature. The company denied it was influenced by a Twitter poll on the subject fielded that same week by Elon Musk, the tech billionaire who was eager to get his hands on the social network before he wasn’t.
The company said it is intentionally testing ‘Edit Tweet’ with a smaller group of users “to help us incorporate feedback while identifying and resolving potential issues,” including how people “might misuse the feature. You can never be too careful.”
The initial test with Twitter Blue subscribers will be “localized to a single country at first” (which Twitter didn’t identify) and expand “as we learn and observe how people use Edit Tweet.”
Twitter noted that even if you’re not in a test group, you will still be able to see if a tweet has been edited.
Here is how it works.
• In its current iteration, the edit feature allows customers to change their tweets “a few times” within 30 minutes of posting.
• An edited tweet will appear with an icon, timestamp, and label to make clear that it has been modified.
• Tapping the icon will take viewers to a history link, which will include past versions of the tweet.
• If someone retweets (or quote tweets) a post that is later edited, the version that was shared will remain visible, along with a label that says a “new version of this tweet is available.” Clicking on that will bring up the latest version of the tweet.