After what feels like forever and what seemed like an April Fool’s joke, Twitter has confirmed that they are working on an “Edit” button. Now thanks to the efforts of researcher Jane Manchun Wong, additional details about the upcoming feature have been revealed, namely how Twitter will apparently keep your old unedited tweets.
According to Wong, basically it seems that when users edit a tweet, it actually creates a new tweet instead of changing the existing one. This all happens on the backend where your old tweet will be kept and a new tweet will be created and that will be the tweet shown to the public.
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 of that edit
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 16, 2022
You could think of it similar to how Google Docs stores revisions of work, where what you see right now is the current version, but you can also go into the revision history to see the changes that were made to the document over time. We’re not sure why Twitter could be approaching edited tweets this way, but perhaps it’s to keep a record.
That way should the situation ever arise, users cannot say that they did not edit their tweets as Twitter would have a record of their original post. It is also possible that maybe Twitter could allow users to keep their own record to see their own posts along with the edited ones. Either way, it might be something to think about.