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Twitter testing editing option for paid users

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Twitter’s logo and app advertised in Toulouse, southern France. AFP

Twitter testing editing option for paid users

Twitter announced on Tuesday it will soon start experimenting with an edit button, but only on its monthly subscription service at first.

The inability to tweak tweets after firing them off has been a key complaint among users of the one-to-many messaging platform.

Word that the company would start testing an edit feature on Twitter Blue came after newly-named board member Elon Musk conducted an online poll.

In a tweet, Musk asked if people wanted an edit button at Twitter. Nearly 4.4 million votes were cast, some 73 percent of them saying “yes.”

“Now that everyone is asking... yes, we’ve been working on an edit feature since last year,” Twitter posted on its communications account.

“No, we didn’t get the idea from a poll,” it added, poking fun at the Tesla boss.

According to Jay Sullivan, the company’s head of consumer product, “Edit” has been the most requested Twitter feature “for many years.”

“People want to be able to fix (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes, typos and hot takes in the moment. They currently work around this by deleting and tweeting again,” Sullivan said in a tweet-thread.

The San Francisco-based internet firm said it will kick off testing in coming months to figure out what works when it comes to letting users tinker with posts after they have gone live.

Twitter Blue lets people pay a monthly subscription fee of $3 to access special content or features.

Blue is available on the Twitter application for Apple or Android smartphones in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, according to the company.

Twitter also announced Tuesday that Musk will join its board, boosting hopes the eccentric entrepreneur will lift the social media company’s prospects – although some observers expressed wariness of the billionaire’s influence.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal called Musk “a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need,” while Musk said he looked forward to soon making “significant improvements to Twitter”.

Musk, who also leads the SpaceX venture and is the world’s richest man, on Monday had announced his purchase of 73.5 million Twitter shares, or 9.2 percent of the company’s common stock.

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter who stepped down as CEO last year, had long opposed an “edit” button on the basis that users could change a tweet that had already been widely shared, changing its meaning or context.

Sullivan addressed those concerns in his posts.

“Without things like time limits, controls, and transparency about what has been edited, Edit could be misused to alter the record of the public conversation,” he said, adding that that company’s top priority is “protecting the integrity of that public conversation.”

He noted that “it will take time” to develop the “Edit” feature and the company will be “actively seeking input and adversarial thinking” in advance of its launch.

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