A Twitter edit button may still be a distant dream, but the company is testing a feature that would at least address the problem of spotting a typo the moment you press the Tweet button.
An animation shows Twitter giving you a few seconds to undo a tweet before it is actually posted …
It was spotted by reverse engineering whiz Jane Manchun Wong.
Twitter is working on “Undo Send” timer for tweets
As you can see below, once you press the Tweet button, a reverse progress bar appears inside an Undo button. The animation takes five or six seconds, and you can tap the button any time in that period in order to cancel the tweet and edit it before sending again.
This would at least address the scenario of realizing your mistake the moment you press the button, but it doesn’t help if you only spot your error when your tweet appears in your feed.
Twitter has given no convincing explanation for its refusal to offer the single most-requested feature. All of the problems it raises are easily solved, as we’ve argued before.
There are of course issues with an edit function: someone could completely change a tweet after it has been liked or retweeted countless times, for example. But there are also simple solutions. What most people want is the ability to correct a typo spotted as soon as they tweet. It would be trivial to allow a short window for corrections, during which retweets are not allowed, or to include an edit history.
CEO Jack Dorsey suggested a year ago that the company might instead offer a “clarify” feature, but there has been no sign of that either.
Twitter is “thinking about” a feature that would allow users to go back and add clarification or annotations to tweets. This feature makes sense in many ways.
Often times, a tweet can go viral even if it’s false or misconstrued. This sort of annotation feature would allow users to clarify what they meant while also preserving the original tweet. The original tweet, however, would not be able to be retweeted, with Twitter instead retweeting the clarification.
In the meantime, though, the Undo button would certainly be better than nothing. As with all Twitter tests, there’s no way to know how widely it might be offered, and whether it will ever become a standard feature.