After years of user cries, Twitter Inc. (TWTR) has announced that an edit button for tweets is finally coming. The company, helmed by CEO Parag Agrawal, made the decision amid a contentious legal battle with once-prospective buyer Elon Musk and the fallout of a whistleblower.
Rather than rolling out the edit feature all at once, Twitter is granting access to premium subscribers first. Here are the details for Twitter’s upcoming edit button, including when it will be available.
Twitter will launch the editing feature for Twitter Blue subscribers later this month.
Paid subscribers to Twitter Blue should receive access to the edit button for tweets later this month, according to Twitter.
Users in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.S. can subscribe to Twitter Blue for $4.99 per month (up from a previous $2.99 per month, which changed in July). Twitter Blue was released in these areas late last year. Most Twitter users don't pay for a subscription and users outside of the specified regions cannot yet access the feature.
Here's how the tweet edit feature will work.
Twitter’s edit feature won't be a panacea to longstanding concerns about editing capabilities. This is because the upcoming edit button will only work within a strict 30-minute window. Within half an hour of the original post, users will be able to edit their tweets. Then, the edited tweet will post a label showing that it has been edited and what time the modification took place.
Don’t get too excited — Twitter’s edit button has more caveats.
Viewers who read an edited tweet will be able to select the label and view the tweet’s editing history (“which includes past versions of the tweet,” Twitter wrote in a blog post).
There may also be a limited number of edits a user can make within the specified 30-minute editing window. Any tweets that have been edited after being embedded into an article or other online web page will retain their original phrasing in the embed.
Because they aren't editable, tweets serve a special purpose in the media. They often serve as timestamped elements of a story direct from relevant sources. This could change, but the logistics of the shift remain unclear. Twitter says about the matter, “For context, the time limit and version history play an important role here. They help protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said.”
Twitter writes, “We’re hoping that, with the availability of edit tweet, tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful. 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.”
Twitter reasons that it’s rolling out the edit button slowly because the company wants to get it right. The edit button could become more widely available over time, but it’s likely to stay within the confines of Twitter Blue for the time being (if only to add a value proposition to the subscription, which recently increased in price).