Twitter's testing out a much-desired editing feature, but there's a catch

San Francisco, California - Twitter has begun internal testing of an "Edit Tweet" feature which will soon be expanded to some users of its Twitter Blue subscription service, the social media platform confirmed.

Twitter is testing out a new "Edit Tweet" feature that will allow users to edit their tweet a certain number of times shortly after it's posted.
Twitter is testing out a new "Edit Tweet" feature that will allow users to edit their tweet a certain number of times shortly after it's posted.  © Collage: Olivier DOULIERY / AFP / Screenshot / Twitter / @twitter

The social media company revealed early this year that it was working on a tool to allow users to edit tweets after they are posted, which is "our most requested feature to date."

The firm said tweets would be able to be edited "a few times" in a 30-minute window immediately after they are published. Like Facebook, edited tweets will appear with an icon, timestamp, and label to make it clear that the original post has been modified.

Users will be able to click to see a tweet's edit history, which will show past versions.

Twitter said labeling tweets and giving access to a post's history is essential because "they help protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said."

In a blog post, the company said the feature would remain in a testing phase, with only a few users able to access the feature for some time while it analyzes how it's used.

Some critics have warned it could be exploited by bad actors seeking to spread disinformation.

Edit Tweet feature will first roll out to Twitter Blue users

Twitter Blue users will be the first to have access to the "Edit Tweet" feature once it's out of testing.
Twitter Blue users will be the first to have access to the "Edit Tweet" feature once it's out of testing.  © OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP

"Like any new feature, we're intentionally testing Edit Tweet with a smaller group to help us incorporate feedback while identifying and resolving potential issues. This includes how people might misuse the feature. You can never be too careful," Twitter said in its blog post.

"Later this month, we'll be expanding Edit Tweet access to Twitter Blue subscribers." Twitter Blue, available in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, is a monthly subscription service that gives users additional features not available to the wider public.

"As part of their subscription, they receive early access to features and help us test them before they come to Twitter. The test will be localized to a single country at first and expand as we learn and observe how people use Edit Tweet.

"We'll also be paying close attention to how the feature impacts the way people read, write and engage with tweets."

While the feature has long been requested by users, there are concerns about its implications.

One argument against editable tweets is that they could be altered after they go viral to distort their core message or be misused for advertising messages or propaganda.

Twitter assured that during the test phase it would pay close attention to how the function affects the way people read, write and engage with tweets.

Cover photo: Collage: Olivier DOULIERY / AFP / Screenshot / Twitter / @twitter

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