Designing an edit feature for Twitter

How I would design Twitter’s edit feature

Atasie Esther
6 min readSep 25, 2021
Twitter edit feature

The Challenge

When I started using Twitter in 2019, I made a tweet and tried to edit it only to figure out it wasn’t possible and that really shocked me because most social platforms offer this feature: Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Medium, etc let you edit your posts. Personally always wanted an edit feature because I tend to make mistakes in tweets and always hope I could quickly edit without having to delete. Sometimes in a 140-character message we type, we either misspell a word, use the wrong word, or omit a word. Maybe we phrase something inelegantly, so people think we are terrible when in reality we were simply in a rush. In these moments, we seek the ability to correct our mistakes without having to start from scratch. That is where the Twitter edit feature comes into play.

Whenever Twitter releases a new feature, very often they are asked questions like: “Can I edit my tweets though?” The question has been asked repeatedly since Twitter’s initial establishment in 2006. Now, this is tagged as a problem/challenge because it is something users need. Although users are gradually adapting to the fact that they aren’t getting any editing feature ever, this is something most people still desire to have.

However, not every Twitter user wants it, Some argue that it may disrupt the integrity of journalism and transparency by allowing users to edit posts from weeks, months, or years ago. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, conditioned that the company will “prevent unlimited editing because then anyone could abuse the feature to alter their controversial or damning statements later on…We can’t make something that is distracting or takes anything away from the public record.

There are many issues surrounding Twitter’s decision to avoid an edit button. While it would help improve the user experience, it would be a blow for personal accountability, giving online abusers a ‘get out of jail free card. Not only this but it could also abuse the free speech which the Twitter team has promoted for a while now.

Giving people the opportunity to fix a spelling error, misquoted tweet, or a way to rectify false information, would be greatly beneficial to the platform as a whole. After careful research, I came to understand the pros and cons of having an edit option for tweets. In designing this, I set some restrictions to the edit feature to manage the cons.

The Process

Research and Interviews

Started with researching more about Twitter and trying to understand why there Isn’t an edit feature yet and on articles concerning Twitter edit feature. To understand better how to go about the solution that would resonate well with users, I had a chat with some users via Twitter and WhatsApp most of which were my friends to learn about their goals, frustrations, and opinions about the Twitter edit feature.


  • To get notified of any changes to their retweets
  • To be able to fix their spelling errors.
  • Be able to correct minor errors within a specified period of time


  • Not being notified when their retweet is edited
  • Others changing content/context of their Tweets by slyly editing it
  • People not being accountable for their tweets

PS: This is a task for a Job opportunity I applied for. Due to time constraints I didn’t take longer in my process, I had to use the Info I had gotten from these few individuals to design a solution as quickly as I could.

The Solution

In my design, I added an option in a tweet’s inverted-caret drop-down menu that reads thus: “edit tweet” Tap it and you can correct any mistake and save.

Edit tweet with a 90 seconds timer

From my personal experience and some research, I discovered most spelling errors are realized within seconds and minutes of posting so I would set a restriction of 60–90 seconds for every tweet. Once a user tweets, he/she has till 60 or 90 secs to edit it after which he/she can no longer edit.

Next to the tweet’s timestamp, a prominent new word appears: “edited” Tap the word “edited” and Twitter displays the previous version of the tweet underneath the latest one. This is done to give users the opportunity to fix their errors tweets while keeping them accountable for their tweets

Tweet edited

I designed this feature in a way that allows a user to edit a tweet and still keep the original tweet while having a timestamp that reads “edited” to tell people, this poster has edited this tweet. When a user clicks on edited or tries to open that tweet, they get to see the original tweet and the time it was edited. This is done so a user remains accountable for their tweets: A user who makes an offensive tweet doesn’t edit and deny such a tweet was ever made. The original tweet can’t be deleted, it just gets updated. I emphasized a lot on the accountability because that’s the major reason an edit feature doesn’t exist right now.

See original tweet

Some users showed concern about a scenario where a user retweets something they like and the tweet author then changes it completely to something they don’t like? E.g A user tweets “This looks great!” and afterwards edits it to this “This looks terrible!”

To solve this problem, I designed a feature that allows users receive both push and in-app notifications (Based on their settings) when a tweet they’ve retweeted, liked, or commented on has been edited. This would enable them to decide if they still want to keep it as a retweet, undo retweet or leave a comment

In summary, I designed to:

  • Hold people accountable for their tweets by showing the original tweet nested under the edited tweet. I.e Keeping the original tweet and the edited tweet together in a thread.
  • Help users who would identify their mistake within 90 seconds be able to make fixes.
  • Notify users who have liked, retweeted, or commented on a tweet about any changes made to that tweet via notifications.
  • Give users the ability to gain optional knowledge on twitter’s guidelines”and when they click on learn more

User Testing

After proposing the new feature to some Twitter users with a prototype done on Figma, I was able to get their reviews and figure what worked and what didn’t work. Did this with over five users and got some reviews that made me rethink the flow:

  • After testing I figured the seconds' timer may not work because most people may not Identify their mistakes within 90 seconds.
  • The seconds' timer may put me under pressure while making corrections to my tweets which may, in turn, lead to more spelling errors. Especially in trying to type really fast not to exceed 90 seconds limit, especially if he/she has less than 20 seconds to edit a tweet.


Based on the user testing reviews, I envisioned a second approach a scenario where the edit feature wouldn’t be open to just users who would find their mistakes within 0–90 secs, but to all users, so they could edit within 24 hours of Identifying their mistakes. The second's timer wouldn’t be needed, and their original tweet still remains for accountability purposes.

Edit tweet without a seconds timer

Although this would make twitter more complex, I believe solely this is a structure that would work should Twitter finally decide to incorporate the edit feature into their app. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

I am a product designer who doesn’t just design for aesthetics but for usability and functionality. I am currently available for full-time and contract remote opportunities! Check me out on Behance, Twitter, or LinkedIn.