Twitter's edit feature may list a tweet's revision history

The company's approach could treat tweets as "immutable."

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Igor Bonifacic
April 16, 2022 3:02 PM
SAN FRANCISCO, CA  - OCTOBER 27: Twitter headquarters is seen in San Francisco, California, United States on October 27, 2021. Twitter has been testing several new features for its mobile app recently. The company is now working on an option to customize the navigation bar of the Twitter app on iOS and possibly Android as well. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Even since Twitter confirmed it was working on an edit button, there have been questions about how the company would limit potential abuse of the feature. And we may now have an answer. In a tweet spotted by The Verge, developer Jane Manchun Wong, who’s known for reverse engineering apps to find new features, suggests the forthcoming tool could create a new tweet whenever someone tweaks something they wrote.

“Looks like Twitter’s approach to Edit Tweet is immutable, as in, instead of mutating the Tweet text within the same tweet (same ID), it re-creates a new Tweet with the amended content, along with the list of the old Tweets prior to that edit,” Manchun Wong said.

What that list looks like is unclear at the moment.

In a separate series of tweets, a handful of other developers, including Alessandro Paluzzi, were able to enable the functionality before its official rollout. In screenshots and GIFs shared by those individuals, the edit option is accessible through the three-dots menu.

Tapping that button leads to an interface that looks similar to the platform’s existing composition window – the one major difference being that button you press to post the tweaked message says “Update,” instead of “Tweet.” Notably, the screenshots circulating online don’t show a tweet’s edit history, though that could be because Twitter has yet to implement that part of the feature.

Whatever form Twitter’s edit functionality takes could be ultimately decided by the outcome of Elon Musk’s bid to buy the company. After purchasing a 9.2 percent stake in the social media giant and deciding not to join its board of directors, the Tesla and SpaceX executive offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion. On Friday, the board unanimously approved a poison pill strategy in an attempt to ward off the bid.

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