Monday, October 3, 2022
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Twitter’s edit button is a big test for the platform’s future

Twitter seems to have handled the addition of an edit button as well as it could have. With the addition of an edit history for each tweet and a prominent message indicating that a tweet has been altered, the edit button favors transparency. Users will only be permitted to update their tweet “a few times,” and they will only have 30 minutes to do so. In its testing, Twitter will undoubtedly pay careful attention to those figures to determine just how editable tweets should really be. Only paid Twitter Blue members will be able to participate, and the test will initially be limited. Twitter seems to be in the right place and is using the utmost caution in this situation.

There is still a lively and contentious discussion on whether Twitter should feature an edit button. Will some users take advantage of the functionality by fabricating or producing popular tweets, then turning them into bad tweets that many people see? Of course. Would the majority of users use an edit button to make perfectly acceptable, everyday platform improvements? Yep. The great majority of users just want to fix mistakes, rephrase statements that are being misunderstood, and update their tweets as things change. May Twitter do enough to detect and minimize the misuse so that it can be used for its original purpose? The actual query is that.

Twitter has significantly accelerated the speed of its product development during the last several years. The business made a commitment to be more transparent about the ideas and experiments it was doing, which it kept. Before they weren’t, fleets were going to be enormous. Twitter’s future, which reportedly now includes podcasts, is in spaces. For nearly an hour and a half, Twitter seemed to be completely behind newsletters. Amazing Follows! Tweet Stores! The new Twitter feature called Circle allows you to share content with just your closest friends and followers. There is a lot of information, making it difficult to determine how much Twitter cares about any of it.

This is beneficial in many respects since Twitter progressed too slowly for more than ten years before releasing software at an outstanding rate. But Twitter is different from other social networks, that’s the issue. It’s more evenly dispersed. Many people see tweets as screenshots on cable news, many utilize third-party Twitter accounts, and many see tweets as embedded content on websites. Sure, you can embed Facebook posts and TikToks, but given Twitter’s position as the internet’s informational hub, the stakes for how tweets go across the globe are greater.

Making Twitter’s own app better is a part of the company’s current product push to get more users to use it, see the advertising inside of it, and pay $5 per month for Twitter Blue. Adding extra auxiliary functions to its app is a tried-and-true platform tactic. The cultural effect of Twitter, however, still much outweighs the app’s actual user base. Over the next couple of years, Twitter’s reach is anticipated to increase once again since a presidential election is also approaching in the US. Accordingly, Twitter must make a feature stick outside of its own app if it wants it to be effective.

In a word, Twitter’s performance in that area has been horrible. Although the firm has made noises about becoming a better partner to third-party developers, many of them have grown weary of Twitter’s actions over the years and are unlikely to embrace its new initiatives right away. Additionally, the majority of the products the business has been developing and releasing aren’t even included in Tweetdeck, which Twitter itself controls.

It’s one thing for platforms and applications to not support certain add-ons or features, but the edit button essentially changes Twitter’s basic building block—the tweet—from its original design. If a single tweet might mean multiple things depending on where you are reading it, Twitter begins to resemble an unreliable source of information.

This will only grow more crucial if Twitter’s future is as a protocol rather than a platform. (Of course, the typical Elon Musk-related cautions apply here: nobody knows what the future holds for Twitter, everything is in a state of anarchy, and who knows how it will all turn out.) Since a few years ago, Twitter has made it clear that it wants developers to “lead the future of innovation on Twitter” and reexamine everything from the way the community functions to the way the algorithms function. To create a “open and decentralized standard for social media,” Project Bluesky was established inside Twitter, and it is already developing technologies that would make it simpler to migrate postings or interaction across networks.

It’s good that Twitter is making an effort to include developers in the edit button. On Thursday, the company’s Twitter Dev account tweeted, “We recognize how vital it will be for you to have insight into modified Tweets, and we’re preparing to give read-support for altered Tweet information through the Twitter APIs.” This is encouraging for both academics and developers who will undoubtedly be interested in seeing how the edit button is utilized. However, Twitter still maintains that this is just a test, and it is risky for any developer to waste time pursuing every Twitter test.

It is probable that Twitter will proceed and then roll out the edit button globally. It’s been the most often requested feature among Twitter users for years, the company likes to remind us, and it’s safe to assume that the majority of those people aren’t asking for it to cause havoc or facilitate bitcoin scams. If and when it occurs, Twitter will change because the tweet will change. And regardless of whether the corporation is prepared, it will alter things well beyond the Twitter app.

Joe Wallace
Joe Wallace
Joe Wallace is a reporter with over two decades of experience, writing about the latest and greatest technology news. With the most experience on TheOptic team, Joe strives to help highlight the most exciting developments in the technology world, as well as bring you the latest updates on new and developing technologies from around the world.
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