Twitter is not gonna let you destroy old tweets by editing them

Twitter’s approach to editable tweets is starting to make sense.

Two weeks after it was announced that Editable Tweets were coming to the social platform, beta code is starting to show up for some users – although most of them don’t seem to be working.

Even so, we learn two crucial aspects of the long-awaited functionality.

First, there’s how Twitter will handle edited Tweets. According to tech blogger Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter may not allow you to directly edit and repost a tweet and may instead create a new tweet with a new ID and then keep a record of the previous tweet with it in a list. In other words, we will not directly edit Tweets but create versions.

When I asked Wong how she figured this out, she told me she “saw this in the code and described the approach based on it”.

If that turns out to be the case, this is probably the best and most historically accurate approach since no one can just edit a tweet and act as if the original tweet didn’t happen ( unless he deletes it).

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The second information also comes from Twitter and shows that the Edit option is starting to appear, sporadically, on certain accounts. For the 9to5Google Contributor Dylan Rousselit appeared in the options list under the ellipses of each tweet.

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As you’d expect, the option features the words “Edit Tweet” next to a pencil icon (would a big eraser have been more appropriate?). However, despite the icon appearing, the feature still does not work. To date, no one at TechRadar has seen similar beta features appear in their Twitter apps and web interfaces.

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Twitter promised to begin testing the feature with Twitter Blue members, i.e. those who pay for Twitter’s new premium service at $3.49 per month. It’s unclear how many people are actually paying for it and it would be fair to fear that the beta test will be incredibly limited.

Still, it’s exciting to see Twitter taking the first steps toward editable tweets, a feature enhancement that loyal Twitter users have been talking about and asking for for more than a decade. It’s also heartening to know that Twitter is taking a measured approach to editing the timeline, not really allowing people to just edit the story, but maybe rephrase it while keeping the recording intact.

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