Pop Culture

Twitter Finally Got an Edit Button, but You’re Gonna Have to Pay

However disappointing your summer was, it can’t have been as bad as the one Twitter had thanks to Elon Musk’s $44 Billion Take-Backsie, so it’s not surprising the social media platform went for a layup today with the announcement of some good news: The edit button is coming. The only catch: It’ll only be available for subscribers of Twitter Blue, a.k.a. anyone willing to pay $4.99 a month.

For users who’ve spent years begging for the ability to edit out all those “ducking” typos, it’s like receiving a long-awaited gift with monthly automatic-renewing strings attached. On one hand, in this current digital-subscription climate, paying five bucks to access content is practically a civic duty; on the other hand, this move represents Twitter’s boldest nudge yet to getting its tap-happiest loyalists to pony up for the pleasure of being here. As someone whose brain has been so rewired by the Big Blue Bird that I’ve once stopped mid-shower to jot down a promisingly retweetable joke, the growing reality of eventually having to pay for Twitter, for either this reason or the next, feels like that moment when that grimy, sometimes-fun dive bar where you’ve been hanging out all night turns its lights on. Yikes! What am I doing here?

Twitter has always been unable to square its identity as a pseudo-public utility with its former status as a tech-world star child and monetization woes (see: last year’s lackluster Tip Jar rollout), not to mention the basic chaos of managing a public square. Most recently, as The Verge reported on Tuesday, the company’s attempts to move in on OnlyFans’ turf with a project called “Adult Content Monetization” would have forced a reckoning with the platform’s illegal content problem so massive that Twitter was unequipped to proceed (per a Twitter spokesperson, an internal team’s definitive report on Twitter’s inability to effectively police harmful sexual content “was part of a discussion, which ultimately led us to pause the workstream for the right reasons”); the challenge of turning billions of pieces of online speech into a sellable product continues to prove more difficult than Silicon Valleyites might have been led to believe. An edit button may only make things exponentially more complicated.

I’ll be honest, though. I kind of can’t wait to see what Elon will inevitably do with it—$44 billion notwithstanding, this is one possible way, at least, to get him to pay for Twitter.

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