Oh, to be able to edit a tweet. There's a special kind of embarrassment about sending a tweet, catching a typo, and then having to delete and retype a tweet that seems so much less witty and significant the second time around. But can you edit tweets — or could the ability to edit tweets finally be on the horizon? Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave the twitter-sphere a major tease in a recent interview with Joe Rogan. Despite the fact that so many of us are desperate for this feature, Rogan only hinted at what an editable tweet might look like.
"You could build it as such so maybe we introduce a 5-second to 30-second delay in the sending," Dorsey explained. "And within that window, you can edit. The issue with going longer than that is it takes that real-time nature of the conversational flow out of it." As Twitter is meant to have that real-time feel with an edge of permanence, you can maybe see why they've been reluctant to make editable tweets a reality. But as someone who never thinks before they tweet, I think the time is now.
Rogan also suggested that the ability to edit tweets may be context-dependent, which is kind of a weird thought. "If you’re in the context of an NBA game, you want to be fast and you just want to be in the moment. You want to be raw," he said. "But if you’re in the context of considering what the president just did, or making a particular statement, then you probably need some more time, and we can be dynamic there." Whether or not there will be a special "ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO TWEET THIS? ARE YOU SURE!?" feature for our current tweeter-in-chief remains to be seen.
Why has it taken so long to get even a peek at what editable tweets might look like — especially when we all long for them so much? Well, according to Mashable, it's because the whole idea of Twitter was based off of the concept of SMS text messaging. "Once you send a text, you can’t take it back. So when you send a tweet it goes to the world instantaneously," Dorsey said. "You can’t take it back." Which is why editable tweets have never really been a thing. Of course, Twitter has made changes before — like upping the character limit from the original 140 — so maybe there's some room for change here.
Of all of the new Twitter features one can dream of, it's easy to see why editable tweets is normally the battle cry of Twitter users. Although there will have to be something to be done about likes and retweets of a tweet that's been edited, which is where things get a little complicated. We also like to able to look at a record and hold people accountable for what they've said, which is why the editing process would have to be limited. But still, there's hope for a little wiggle room.
Of course, there's no guarantee that tweet edits are on the horizon any time soon, BUT this tease seems a little too specific and thought out to be coming from nowhere. So please, Jack Dorsey, please make editable tweets a real thing. None of us are going to learn to actually think before we type any time soon. Seriously — no one. So make the world a better place. Let us edit. It's what the people want — and it's what the people need.