Twitter confirms introduction of edit button for Tweets - but only if you pay for it

Twitter's edit button
Edited tweets will have an icon and timestamp to display when the post was edited. Photo credit: Getty Images / Newshub

Twitter will launch a widely requested edit button for its paid subscribers in the coming weeks, the social media company said Thursday, US time.

For years, Twitter users have demanded the ability to edit their tweets after publishing in order to fix errors like typos.

Those requests have led to jokes online that Twitter would rather introduce any other product, such as newsletters, before giving users their top-requested feature.

Subscribers who pay US$4.99 per month (US$6.99 in NZ) for Twitter Blue will soon be able to edit their tweets "a few times" within 30 minutes of publication, Twitter said in a blog post.

Nearly every other social media platform, including Meta Platform's Facebook and Instagram, Reddit and Pinterest, have for years offered features allowing users to edit posts.

The San Francisco-based company is embroiled in a legal fight with billionaire Elon Musk, who is trying to back out of a US$44-billion agreement to buy Twitter.

In April, on the same day that Musk disclosed a nine percent stake in Twitter, he tweeted a poll asking his millions of followers whether they wanted an edit button. Over 70 percent said yes.

Twitter and its observers have debated whether allowing tweets to be edited could lead to harmful effects, such as the spread of misinformation.

Danny Palmer, a senior cyber security reporter, wasn't convinced by the addition of the functionality.

"Yeah, I can't see a scenario where a Twitter edit button isn't abused by scammers and other nefarious cyber types somehow," he wrote.

"Hope Twitter has thought hard about that…"

Others felt that 30 minutes was too long to give people to edit Tweets.

"An edit button is a fine idea but 30 minutes is way too long to let something be live for and still edited," one wrote.

"Seriously, we've had this conversation. Unfettered edit capabilities ruins the entire platform," wrote another.

"Within 30 minutes a lot of RT/QTs take on new life when the OP is edited. People will purposefully change tweets to mess with y'all. Watch."

Edited tweets will have an icon and timestamp to display when the post was last edited, Twitter said.

Users will be able to click on the label of an edited tweet to view the edit history and previous versions of the post.

Twitter has experimented with versions of an edit button. Subscribers of Twitter Blue, the company's paid subscription product, currently have access to a feature that holds tweets for up to one minute, allowing users to review the tweet and "undo" it before the post is published.

Asked if the edit button would eventually be available for all Twitter users, a spokeswoman said Twitter was testing the feature to "anticipate what might happen if we bring it to everyone".

Reuters / Newshub