According to reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, editing a tweet with Twitter’s impending edit button might leave a digital trail of your tweet’s history. Manchun Wong says in a tweet that the edit function appears to have a “immutable” quality, which implies that when a tweet is modified, Twitter may produce a whole new tweet while keeping prior versions of that tweet.
“It appears that Twitter’s Update Tweet technique is immutable,” Manchun Wong explains. “Rather than mutating the Tweet text within the same Tweet (same ID), it re-creates a new Tweet with the revised content, along with a list of the old Tweets previous to that edit.”
As Manchun Wong points out, it’s unclear how users would see a tweet’s modification history, if at all. However, if Twitter decides to make tweet history public, it might be a method to address concerns about possible abuse of the service, which some opponents fear could be exploited to manipulate the public record and mislead users.
Alessandro Paluzzi, an app researcher, also tweeted out what appear to be screenshots of the new feature, giving us a look at how the edit button would look once it’s live on Twitter. Paluzzi demonstrates how the “Edit Tweet” option may look in the three-dot menu on the right side of your tweets in one screenshot.
When you click the button, you’ll be sent to a page that appears similar to the usual tweet composer, but it’s pre-filled with your tweet’s content and reads “Update” instead of “Tweet” in the bottom right corner. However, Paluzzi’s screenshots don’t reveal a way to see a tweet’s modification history.
A tweet history tracker has yet to be confirmed by Twitter. “At the time, there’s nothing new to disclose beyond what’s in this Tweet from @TwitterComms and this Tweet from @JaySullivan, VP of Consumer Product,” says the company.