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Twitter announces highly anticipated ‘edit’ feature

Twitter has finally bowed to pressure, rolling out one of its most-requested features – an edit button.

But while it means misspelt tweets – and those that are just plain wrong – are less likely to go viral, the feature comes at a price.

The edit button will be available for Twitter Blue users later in September for a $7.35 monthly subscription.

The edit feature will allow users a half-hour window to fix typos and add missed hashtags to their 280-character message from when it is first published.

To allow members of the Twitterati to distinguish an edited tweet from an original one, the edited tweet will be labelled and appear with an icon and timestamp.

Announcing the long-anticipated update on late last week, Twitter also said tapping the label would let users access edit histories, including all versions of the tweet.

Twitter Edit feature

The new ‘edit’ feature on the social media’s webpage. Photo: Twitter

The time limit and the version history on the edit are integral parts of the update.

‘‘They help protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said,’’ Twitter said.

The company is testing the feature internally to identify potential issues, including how people might misuse it and incorporate feedback.

Twitter teased the awaited feature in April after Tesla CEO Elon Musk,  who is locked in a legal battle with the social media company, tweeted a poll with intentional spelling errors asking users whether they wanted an edit button feature.

In the self-selecting poll, 73.6 per cent of users said yes.

The social media company, however, has knocked back the idea of an edit button for years.

Former CEO Jack Drowsy, who stepped down in 2021, once said it would never happen.

The sentiment is echoed among Twitter users, with one user replying to Mr Musk’s poll saying, ‘‘Twitter is seen as a news source. If there’s an edit button, It’ll be very easy to spread misinformation, which defeats the purpose.’’

Twitter hasn’t announced if or when the feature will be available for the free version of Twitter – or even exactly when editing will become available for its premier tier Twitter Blue.

Twitter Blue is available only in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

Users can activate the premium service from within their Twitter accounts by navigating to their profile.

Its premium subscription features an ad-free experience, a ‘reader mode’ that transforms threads of tweets into an article-like view and already has the feature to ‘undo’ tweets, giving premium users a 30-second window to spot an error and cancel posting.

Topics: Twitter
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