How an edit feature could work on Twitter, according to founder Jack Dorsey

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Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Mr Dorsey confirmed Twitter was “looking at” the feasibility of the feature and how it could work if implemented.

The ability to edit tweets already posted is one of the most common requests made of the platform and its founder – with high-profile users including Kim Kardashian among those to have publicly asked for the tool to be introduced.

Asked by Rogan about the mechanics of allowing users to edit posts, Mr Dorsey said: “You could build it such that, maybe we introduce a five-second to 30-second delay in the sending and within that window you can edit.

“The issue with going longer than that is that it takes that real-time nature of the conversational flow out of it and then we’re delaying these tweets.”

He added that the system could also incorporate the original tweet, so it was transparent on what a user had opted to change.

Mr Dorsey also said that any editing features may also have to depend on context.

“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.”

Twitter has been open to changing core features of the app in the past – the platform doubled its character limit from 140 to 280 characters in late 2017.

The social media boss also revealed that the reason Twitter did not launch with an editing function when it went live in 2006 was due to its functionality being based on SMS messaging.

“We were born on SMS, we were born on text messaging – you send a text, you can’t take it back,” he said.

“So when you send a tweet it goes to the world instantaneously – you can’t take it back.”

Chris Price
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