How do you feel when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror? Twitter executives will see failure. You see security gaps as wide as the Grand Canyon. There is also a serious spambot issue that makes it seem almost absurd.
The company has learned a lot from that failure.
Social media company that we love and hate recently decided to test an edit feature. Edit Tweet allows you to fix a tweet for up to 30 minutes, and you can apparently do that “a few times” according to the official blog post. Twitter intends to eventually offer the feature to users who signed up to Twitter Blue at $4.99 per monthly
You may have seen the drama in the news lately or from years past, or from 2006 when there was resistance. But you also know that users are always looking for an easy way to correct a typo. That sentence needs to be edited. They’ve been DemandingThe feature.
Think about that. It is possible to modify almost anything tech-wise (except for the text that you sent your boss, sorry). Facebook, Instagram, and sales presentations. The concept of “editing” when it comes to computer technology is not exactly novel. Twitter feels so strongly about it.
This is the first company to have a history of providing services. Opinions. The “open source” mentality dates back to the very early days when Twitter was essentially a way to “hard code” your views out to the world using a platform that was completely unforgiving. I’ve always thought of Twitter as an app only a programmer could love. The message is sent, and then the product is released. Everyone can laugh at your mistakes. You might want to do it again.
The short message approach — originally only 140 characters, then 280, now a new 2,500-word blogging feature that is also exclusive — came from the world of SMS texting. Simple, concise messages are best. Be precise. Don’t elaborate, since there are other apps meant for that purpose. I don’t know. All of this was completely unintelligible at launch, and even now.
The company’s DNA is changing. It’s a mentality that used to view a tweet as a pure expression of what is happening right now, and is morphing into a company that wants to somehow survive and generate revenue. I’ll let Elon Musk and others decide if the Edit Tweet feature is really worth the fuss. Honestly, there’s a lot of work to do.
Jack Dorsey shared recently how the biggest thing that he regrets about Twitter’s creation is its inability to be a business. It reinforces the coder philosophy to maintain it free and open source. I like the idea of making apps that benefit humanity, but I can also see how making an app that doesn’t really do anything worthwhile and has even degraded society might also be a problem.
I don’t think the answer is an edit feature.
Twitter must be made more accessible over the coming years, and even into the future. Make it more compelling to keep using the app. Try something new and crazy. Do not fix things that you did not need to do immediately after launch.
The idea of a problem is only reinforced when you apply a bandage. Which is better? Doing something so cool we can’t help but start using the product again.