Ever sent out a beautifully crafted tweet, stretching to exactly 140 characters that contains enough cutting wit to sink a battleship, only to notice a typo and be forced to delete it? Since Facebook posts can be edited, Twitter users want to know why they can't spruce up typo-riddled tweets − and now the company's head of product has the answer.
Speaking at the Code/Mobile conference in California, Kevin Weil, head of product at Twitter, said there are numerous challenges to letting users edit their tweets after they have been published. Key among which is how the context of a tweet can easily be changed, and how some tweets are embedded and shared by news publications; editing a tweet could change the content of their article.
"There are real challenges to editing tweets after you post them," Weil added, admitting that technically it is easy for Twitter to create an edit function, but larger problems arise from how tweets are used by people other than the tweeter and their followers.
Real issues to think about
Weil explained: "The challenge is that you embed tweets, people retweet you everywhere. You wouldn't want a world where somebody said something, you retweeted it − so it came from you, essentially you are representing their content − then suddenly they change it. So there are real things to think about, as you think about how to make editing tweets possible."
The issue of tweets being edited to change their context would be a particular problem for news websites, which often rely on embedded tweets as a way of publishing eyewitness accounts of breaking news.
Weil added: "Say you embed a tweet in a news story, then somebody goes and edits it to totally change the context of the tweet to something they didn't mean when you embedded the content. It changes the meaning, totally."
So there we go, it is unlikely we'll get the ability to edit tweets any time soon. Bad news for Kim Kardashian West, who emailed Twitter to personally ask for the feature. Better keep a closer eye on those typos now, Kim.