April Fools can sometimes be fun, but sometimes companies are just mean.
You would never call someone to tell them they got the job, only for it to be a prank, but Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report seems perfectly willing to play with the hopes and wishes of its users.
Social media giant Twitter tweeted on April 1 that the San Francisco-based company was working on an edit button, a request avid Twitter users have made since 2016.
The company did not give away its official position but punned on editing its tweet later, a company spokesperson said.
“We cannot confirm or deny but we may edit our statement later,” a Twitter spokesperson said in response to a query from TheStreet. But those who can read between the lines may have already found an answer there given the nature of pretty much any announcement made on April Fools’ Day.
This recent edit button tweet has generated more than 556,000 retweets and 221,600 likes at the time this story was published.
Twitter Reacts to Edit Button
Twitter is filled with all kinds of reactions to the tech giant’s latest tweet.
Some users said the company needs to stop flip-flopping on the issue, some took the message seriously and listed the various problems the edit button could lead to and some called out Twitter’s bluff on account of April Fools’ Day.
New York Times technology journalist Kara Swisher asked Casey Newton, editor of Platformer, who writes a newsletter about the intersection of tech and democracy, popular among the Silicon Valley crowd, if the company was messing with users.
Newton chimed in and said, “every previous Twitter CEO who didn’t build the edit button eventually lost their job.”
There were many users who were infuriated by the nature of the joke given the scope of ramifications if editing tweets were indeed possible.
A lot of users also asked Twitter to fix free speech on the platform instead.
This Goes Back to 2016
Six years back when former President Donald Trump won the presidential election, some blamed Twitter for it.
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Twitter was rife with abuse, bullying, and harassment at the time.
The company even admitted to it in a blogpost. “Because Twitter happens in public and in real-time, we’ve had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct,” it said in a November 2016 blog post.
Former Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey also asked users for ways to improve the service, in a tough year for the company, and the most-requested feature users wanted was the edit button.
Over time Twitter users had grown frustrated with the social media platform’s inability to respond to change.
Last year, Twitter put some sort of an end to the speculation about the edit button and told users to appreciate their clumsy typos.
Twitter Changes That Didn’t Work
Over the years, some of the changes that Twitter has made to experiment with user style and engagement haven’t worked.
Most recently Twitter’s disappearing posts function called Fleets did not make the cut.
“We haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped,” Twitter Vice President Ilaya Brown wrote in a company post in July last year.
The feature that failed to attract new users was pulled off the site in August 2021.
Twitter’s live-streaming app Periscope also failed to create a stir on the social media platform. In March last year the company shut down its public broadcast app.
“The truth is that the Periscope app is in an unsustainable maintenance-mode state, and has been for a while.,” the company wrote in Medium post.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen declining usage and know that the cost to support the app will only continue to go up over time.”
“We still believe in the power of live video to solve impactful problems, which is why we’ve brought most of the core capabilities of Periscope into Twitter,” according to the post.
Twitter has not, as of early April 2, fully confirmed that the post was an April Fools’ joke.