Twitter May Soon Allow Users Edit their Posts, But how Big of a Deal is the Feature?
Social media platform, Twitter could be on the verge of adding the much anticipated “Edit” button very soon. Speaking in an interview, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, hinted that the much awaited feature could be in the works.
Twitter boss again teases the idea of a button to edits tweets https://t.co/9QWDH1bZvy
— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) February 4, 2019
This is not the first time, however, that news around an edit button for Twitter has circulated. In 2013, 2016 and even last year, Twitter and its CEO had dropped similar hints that really got users excited about the feature. But it never debuted, and it still hasn’t.
So here is why Twitter has refused to give us the Edit button 😑😁😂 pic.twitter.com/VbYEYppgkL
— Chidera (@Chi_derah) January 29, 2019
However, Twitter seems certain that the feature is coming this time around. Importantly, Mr Dorsey went as far as to give deep explanation about how the feature could work.
According to him, the edit button would only be available for a short time, similar to how Whatsapp allows deleting messages sent under an hour. But in Twitter’s case, the edit button would be available for just 30 seconds, according to Dorsey.
“Maybe we introduce a 5-30 seconds delay in the sending of tweet and within that window, you can edit because the issue with going longer than that is it takes that real-time nature of the conversational flow out of it,” Dorsey says.
How big a deal is the edit button?
Since its launch, an edit button has topped the list of things users wanted on Twitter. Despite its absence, Twitter users have utilised the strict character limits on the platform to generate conversations and the statistics to support this is mind blowing.
— Amazon PrimeVideo IN (@PrimeVideoIN) February 3, 2019
However, users have constantly worried about issues like typography errors and statements being taken out of context. As a matter of fact, Twitter is one of the most popular places for online abuse and public shaming. Users want a way to write and correct errors or possible misunderstanding from their posts.
So in a way, the introduction of an edit button will serve a good purpose. But Twitter CEO says the feature (if introduced) may not work for older tweets.
“The issue with going longer than that is it takes that real-time nature of the conversational flow out of it.”
Also, the 30 second time limit could mean tweets won’t be real time. Tweets could get delayed before they are actually seen by other users. This could have a serious implication because Twitter is largely popular for its real time nature. Some users even prefer timelines listed in chronological order for example.
But there’s no guarantee real time tweeting would go away. As a matter of fact, platforms like Facebook have edit buttons yet they allow for real time posting. Still the difference is that Twitter generates far more conversations per second than Facebook.
A simple mistake in the architecture of the edit button feature could break the platform. And Jack Dorsey agrees. He concludes that the feature needs to be done right before it goes live.
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