After several strong disapprovals from Jack Dorsey, he finally seems to be ready to give in. Twitter has announced that a new “Undo send” button will be live on its app soon.
Although we don’t know how near soon is, it still is something that fans who have long clamoured for it can look forward to.
The Undo send function is meant to work like the edit feature on other social media apps like Instagram. Not entirely though, but it’s somewhat like it.
The feature will allow users to make edits to their tweets and correct misspellings. But on the flip side, folks could also use it for more than that.
Why it’s taken this long
In the past, Jack has been firmly against having the feature on his platform.
Quite frankly, his reasons for constantly rejecting requests for the edit function to come on Twitter have been very plausible. Let’s start with the less grievous reason.
First, with an edit button on Twitter, the chances of communications going south are higher.
For instance, you might share a tweet and someone immediately retweets it.
Now, that wouldn’t be a problem with Twitter’s present setup.
But, if there’s an edit button and a user decides to change his initial post, those who have retweeted before he made that decision would have distributed another piece of information while his newly edited tweet could mean something else.
Worse? Politicians or other thought leaders who have given their opinion on certain things or have given certain verdicts in the past can go back to change them to suit their interest and this could be very misleading.
Since Twitter is largely text-based and many critical conversations are held on the platform, allowing for manipulations might be a very tricky move.
We never thought Jack was ever going to give in
It’s quite surprising that after citing all of these reasons in the past, Jack is finally allowing the feature to be introduced.
This leaves us with a few questions.
For one, is this a good or potentially bad call from Twitter’s team?
Two, if the undo button is coming, has it been designed in such a way that users will hardly be able to use it to mislead others?
Maybe when a user edits a tweet that has already been retweeted, his changes automatically reflect on every other retweet.
But, this too can be very tricky especially if his new edit has some details that his followers wouldn’t have been comfortable with retweeting.
I guess now you can see why it’s a lot more complicated with Twitter.
Thankfully, it seems like the Twitter team considered some of these questions themselves.
In the teaser video for this feature, we can see an undo button with a bar that’s swiftly counting down.
Imagine the download bar on your phone, but only this time it’s loading backward.
That’s exactly what Twitter’s undo button looks like. With its display in the teaser video, we assume that once the bar finishes countdown, users will no longer be able to fix their tweets.
We timed the bar and found that it takes only 5 seconds for it to hit the bottom.
While this might not be enough time for users to spot errors, let alone change them, it’s much safer than giving users all the time they need to plot some funny moves.
Twitter is working on “Undo Send” timer for tweets pic.twitter.com/nS0kuijPK0
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) March 5, 2021
One little problem
The only conflict is that, from the teaser GIF, the Undo button covers all the characters from the users’ tweets.
Hence, it’s difficult to see your blunders so you can quickly hit undo to correct them.
Twitter’s Undo button is still in its test phase. So, at the moment it’s not available/accessible to all users around the world.
We do not know when this feature will be made available or which countries will get it first.
However, we hope to see it roll out in the coming weeks.
Do you think Twitter is making a wrong or right call here? Let us know in the comment section below.