27 Feb 2013

How to Edit Twitter Tweets (Weekly QA)

twitterNot everything we post is going to be gold, no matter how much we wish it was. Just spelling or grammar errors can plague us when we are quickly updating, especially from mobile devices – which doesn’t even cover tweets done out of anger, thoughts we thought were profound but weren’t, accidental retweets, drunken tweets, accidental SMS updates…the list goes on.

This has led to many people asking the same question: where can I edit my tweets? Is there a button I am not seeing when I hover over each one? Do I have to do it from a separate page? Will I have to offer a sacrifice to the Blue Bird in order to alter a tweet I have previously posted?


The Bad News

You can’t edit them. It is one of the unfortunate facts of Twitter that once it is there, it cannot be changed. I am not sure if they just haven’t gotten around to offering an edit button, or if they have neglected to do so with a specific purpose in mind. Knowing their usual M.O, it is probably the latter. But what that purpose might be is up to debate.

So once you have a tweet up, there is no way to edit the content itself.


The Good News

Twitlan
You can, however, delete tweets. Just hover over the one in question and hit the delete button. It will ask if you are sure, you select yes, and it is gone forever. Or, just give it some time…Twitter only keeps a certain number of tweets archived at any given time, allowing them to be deleted from the system regularly to match their live algorithm.

If you want to delete mass amounts of tweets at once instead of one by one, you can try a tool like Twitlan or TweetDelete. This comes in handy if you want to change the focus of your account, or you get hacked and have to remove a lot of spam.


The Worse News

Even if you delete, it doesn’t mean the Tweet ceases to exist.

  • If you have active followers, it will be RTed (I mean traditional user-generated RTs)
  • If you use a hashtag, it will be archived by Hashtag archiving sites
  • If you are in the list of someone and that someone is publicizing that list (using Paper.li for example), your Tweet may appear there too.
  • etc etc

Unedited, embarrassing…. An edit button wouldn’t solve this (maybe that’s the reason behind not having it!).


Conclusion

Do you want Twitter to put in an edit button? What is your theory as to why they haven’t? Let us know in the comments.

Image source: Twitter