Twitter edit button tests will include edit history and time lock

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One of the biggest debates in Twitter’s history has been whether the service should have an edit button, with pro arguments that it would be useful for correcting typos and con arguments that editing could be abused to alter the entire meaning of tweets after those tweets have been retweeted or embedded. Twitter said earlier this year that they would explore the idea of ​​an edit button, and they’re now testing it internally with staff and then expanding it from there, starting with Twitter Blue followers in a country. And that will mean a visible change history and time locks after 30 minutes. Here is their official tweet about it:

The official Twitter blog see you what the plans are, including the change history feature and how that will be rolled out. A few key elements of this:

So what is Edit Tweet, you ask? Excellent question. Edit Tweet is a feature that allows users to make changes to their Tweet after it has been posted. Think of it as a short period of time to do things like fix typos, add missing tags, etc.

For this test, Tweets can be edited multiple times within 30 minutes of posting. Edited Tweets will appear with an icon, timestamp, and label so readers will know clearly that the original Tweet was edited. Tapping on the label will take viewers to the Tweet’s edit history, which includes past versions of the Tweet.

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 available record of what was said.

…Like any new feature, we are intentionally testing Edit Tweet with a smaller group to help us incorporate comments while identifying and fixing potential issues. This includes how people might abuse the feature. You can never be too careful.

Later this month, we’ll expand access to edit the tweet to Twitter Blue followers. As part of their subscription, they get early access to features and help us test them before they come to Twitter. The test will initially be localized in a single country and will expand as we learn and observe how people use Edit Tweet. We’ll also pay close attention to how the feature impacts how people read, write, and interact with Tweets.

The publicly viewable edit history and 30 minute time limit both seem to be strong aspects of this. Visible edit history works well for Wikipedia; when there is sports related vandalism or jokes made there it is usually quite easy to identify and fix them. (Problems with Wikipedia citation usually stem from edits to more obscure articles, where erroneous information goes unnoticed and is then repeated or used without further verification.) And it may work even better here, because it’s each person editing their own tweets rather than a group editing a single post. And if the changes are fully visible, it should make it easier to spot noticeable changes.

There are potential benefits here on the sports side of Twitter. If a widely retweeted tweet contains a typo, which we see quite often with the rush to post reports first, it could make it fixable after the fact without deleting a tweet that has already gained traction. It could also help make Twitter more appealing to those who like the immediacy of the service but don’t like it when they make typos they can’t change. But we’ll have to see how it performs in these tests.

It should be noted that Twitter continues to experiment with different features, including Spaces, Circles, and now these new tweet editing features planned. We’ll see how the new features work for them.

[Twitter]

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