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A brief history of not being able to edit your tweets

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16.07.2019

On Tuesday, Twitter rolled out a new version of Twitter for those of us who use the service in a desktop browser. (The company has been testing the new look for awhile, so you may have already had it.)

The redesign is less about all-new features than cleaning up the existing experience and importing some functionality from the Twitter app. A new navigation menu along the left-hand side provides access to Explore (the topic-driven app feature now available on the web), direct messages, and more. The middle of the screen is devoted to whatever feature you’re using at the moment, with fewer interface quirks than in the old Twitter.com. You can now switch between multiple accounts on the fly. Oh, and there’s a dark mode, another option that originated in Twitter’s apps.

This new Twitter.com is cleaner and less disjointed than its predecessors, and I wouldn’t be surprised if enough people start using features they couldn’t find before to have made the upgrade worthwhile for the company. But as someone who knew my way around the old version, the new navigation—which fills about 20% of the screen with jumbo-sized menu items and an ocean of white space—feels like training wheels I don’t need.

What I would welcome is the ability to edit my tweets after I’ve posted them, so I can fix the typos that creep in.

This is not an idiosyncratic request. Actually, plenty of people reflexively bring it up every time Twitter changes anything about its service.

If edit tweets ain't one of the things @Twitter ….. pic.twitter.com/dpIIS4pDgX

— Darren Bell (@darren_bell) July 13, 2019

Which led me to wonder: How long have people been asking for an edit button, and how much explaining has Twitter done about why it hasn’t implemented one?

Don’t hold me to this, but Twitter user @livia—one of the first few dozen people to join the service back in the spring of 2006—may be the first member ever to have pined for an edit button, at least among those who have expressed the desire on Twitter itself. She did so two months into the service’s history, when it was still called “twttr.”

Wishing I could go back in twttr time to fix typos. Guess........

© Fast Company