Tweet editing advocates, brace yourselves. This week, in an interview with Wired, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that an edit button is not on the cards for the platform, and likely never will be.
Dorsey’s statement pours cold water on previous indications he’s made in regards to a possible edit option.
In late 2016, Dorsey gave users hope by suggesting that tweet editing could be made available within a confined window, like a 5-minute gap after posting a tweet, within which you would be able to fix up any errors as required.
not sure why you’re quoting this tweet but yes, a form of edit is def needed. But for everyone, not just those w badges
— jack ???????????? (@jack) December 29, 2016
The topic continued be raised as a key idea for improvement, then early last year, in an interview with Joe Rogan, Dorsey once again suggested that editing could be possible within a limited window, though this time reduced to seconds from initial posting:
“When you send a tweet it goes to the world instantaneously. You can’t take it back. You could build it as such so maybe we introduce a 5-second to 30-second delay in the sending. And within that window, you can edit. The issue with going longer than that is it takes that real-time nature of the conversational flow out of it”.
Which sounded positive, it sounded like progress was being made. Then, in August last year, Twitter Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour took the wind out of the sails of the tweet editing dream once again.
“Honestly, it’s a feature that I think we should build at some point, but it’s not anywhere near the top of our priorities.”
And now, Dorsey has straight-up said that it’s not happening. Well, not anytime soon anyway.
Because tweet editing fans are no doubt going to scour through Dorsey’s comments looking for any glimmer of home, here is a complete transcript of his answer to the question around tweet edits (which you can watch at the 2:57 mark in the above video):
“Can we get that edit button in 2020? The answer is no. The reason there’s no edit button, there hasn’t been an edit button traditionally, is we started as a SMS text messaging service. So as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days, but now, you know, we have an app and a lot of people are using us on the web, and there are some issues with edit that we can solve. One is you might send a tweet and then someone might retweet that, and then an hour later you completely change the contents of that tweet and that person that retweeted the original tweet is now retweeting and rebroadcasting something completely different, so that’s something to watch out for. A lot people want it because they want to fix a quick spelling error or a broken link or whatnot, and that’s great, we’ve considered a one-minute window or a 30-second window to correct something, but that also means that we have to delay sending that tweet out, because once it’s out, people see it. So, these are all the considerations, it’s just work. But we’ll probably never do it.”
Okay, he does say ‘probably’, so if you’re looking for some indicator to cling to, there it is. It’s probably not even going to happen. Which, theoretically, means it still might. But it seems very unlikely.
So, if you’re pushing for tweet edits, the mountain you’re trying to conquer over just got a little steeper. But it’s still possible – if you stay behind the cause, maybe, if you keep on pushing. Maybe it’ll eventually gain momentum.
But probably not.
The annoyance of tiny grammatical errors in tweets looks set to be a mainstay of the service.