A common complaint about Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) from its users is the fact that there is no edit button for tweets. For years, users have argued that allowing them to edit their own tweets would make the service more useful. Proponents of an edit button contend that Twitter could implement the feature by showing a public edit history of a tweet, making it impossible for someone to hide a tweet's original content and encouraging users to only use the feature for correcting errors as opposed to manipulating the original message.
But users shouldn't get their hopes up. In a new video interview with Wired, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the company doesn't plan on releasing this feature...ever.
The case against edited tweets
When asked in the interview whether users can get an edit button in 2020, Dorsey responded bluntly, saying, "No."
The reason there's no edit button...is we started as an SMS text messaging service, so, as you all know, when you send a text you can't really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days.
Of course, Dorsey's reasoning goes beyond maintaining a "vibe" from the "early days." He details a potential problem of someone sending a tweet that gets retweeted and then the originator of the tweet ends up changing the meaning of the content in the original tweet, leaving the retweet compromised.
Dorsey noted that the social network has considered a 30-second or even 1-minute window to make corrections, but the team ruled this out, since it would negatively impact the service's fundamental value proposition for speed of information dissemination.
"We'll probably never do it," Dorsey concluded.
Daily active users are growing quickly nevertheless
So far, the absence of an edit button hasn't seemed to slow down the company's user growth. In fact, Twitter's growth in daily active users has accelerated to impressive levels. Monetizable daily active users increased 17% year over year in the third quarter of 2019 -- up from 11% and 14% year-over-year growth rates in the first and second quarters of 2019, respectively.
Growth in Twitter's users has been driven by "ongoing product improvements," management said in the tech company's third-quarter shareholder letter.
Just a few of the improvements Twitter is making to increase daily usage of the service include enhanced machine-learning models to serve more relevant content in users' home timelines and notifications, as well as improved onboarding for new users.
While tweeters might not get an edit button, this doesn't mean Twitter is done improving the user experience.