Jack Dorsey Explains Why Twitter Won't Get an Edit Button in 2020

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has opened up about why his social network doesn't let users edit their posts after publication—and why the platform probably never will.

In a video segment with Wired, the 43-year-old answered questions about a range of topics, including how to achieve the verification checkmark and why a character limit still exists. When asked about the possibility of an edit button this year, he replied: "The answer is no."

The feature is often requested by users, but Dorsey countered by noting that implementing the feature could have unfortunate consequences.

"The reason there is no edit button and there hasn't been an edit button traditionally is we started as an SMS text messaging service," Dorsey explained during the filmed Q&A session.

"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. But now, we have an app and a lot of people are using us on the web, and there are some issues with edit."

"One is you might send a tweet, someone might retweet that, and an hour later you completely change the content of that tweet," he said. "The person that retweeted the original tweet is now re-broadcasting something completely different. So that's something to watch out for."

Aside from being abused to spread misinformation, Dorsey noted many people want an edit button to fix spelling errors or broken links—but said even that has a downside.

"We have considered a one-minute window or a 30-second window to correct something, but that also means we have to delay sending that tweet out, because once its out, people see it," Dorsey added. "So, these are all the considerations. But we'll probably never do it."

Last year, Dorsey confirmed the company was designing a "clarification" feature that would let users add more context to older tweets, Mashable reported.

"One of the concepts we're thinking about is clarifications," he said during a Goldman Sachs technology conference last February. "Kind of like retweet with comment... to add some context and some color on what they might have tweeted, or what they might have meant."

These days, the "retweet with comment" feature comes as standard, even letting users add a gif when sharing the post. But the edit button has remained elusive.

Later last year, the company's product lead Kayvon Beykpour indicated an edit button was possible, but stressed that users shouldn't hold their breath.

"Honestly, it's a feature that I think we should build at some point, but it's not anywhere near the top of our priorities. That's the honest answer," Beykpour said at a media event in August.

Last week, The Verge detailed a potential new Twitter feature intended to let users specifically set who can reply to their updates, using four options: global, group, panel and statement.