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What just happened? It appears that Twitter's new largest shareholder, Elon Musk, wants to bring changes to the platform, and the first could be a long-requested edit button. The Tesla boss posted a poll asking his 80 million followers if it's something they would like to see, and at the time of writing, almost three-quarters of respondents have voted in favor of the option.
Musk's poll, which was posted yesterday—the same day it was revealed he owns a 9.2% stake in Twitter—purposely misspells the word yes as yse, highlighting the long-running issue of being unable to correct a typo in a tweet once it's out there for all to see. Unlike Facebook, which lets users edit posts after they've hit the news feed, the only option for Twitter users is to delete the tweet.
Do you want an edit button?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
At the time of writing, 73.6% of the 2,407,025 participants have voted yes (or yse) for an edit button.
A reply Musk gave to another user suggests the kind of functionality a Twitter edit button could offer
That sounds reasonable— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
What's significant about Musk's poll is that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal retweeted it. He wrote that the consequences of the outcome would be important and urged people to vote carefully.
The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully. https://t.co/UDJIvznALB— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey spent a lot of his time as head of the company wrestling with the idea of an edit button. In 2016, he said he was "thinking a lot" about adding the feature and hinted at its introduction again in 2018. During an appearance on the Joe Rogan show in 2019, Dorsey suggested that a Twitter edit option could offer "a 5-second to 30-second delay in the sending" so users could edit or delete the tweet before it went live.
But Dorsey appeared to backtrack in 2020, telling Wired that Twitter would "probably never" have one as the app started as an SMS text message service, and it wanted to retain that vibe and feeling—I.e., not being able to edit a message that's been sent.
A 13G filing released yesterday showed that on March 14, Musk purchased 73,486,938 Twitter shares, making him the largest shareholder. He has since posted polls asking user opinion on Twitter's stance toward free speech.
"Musk could try to take a more aggressive stance here on Twitter," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told CNBC. "This eventually could lead to some sort of buyout."