However, Twitter may be eyeing the feature as a perk for its rumoured paid subscription tier.
The evidence is mounting that Twitter will be adding an “undo tweet” feature, but that those who want it will have to pay: app researcher Jane Manchun Wong has discovered a subscription screen tied to the feature. The ability to take back tweets has also shown up on a survey asking Twitter users about features they’d be willing to pay for, as well as in the code for the app, and CNET received confirmation today from Twitter that it is, in fact, being tested.
When it will become widely available is unknown, but it’s understandable why Twitter could be considering reserving the feature for its potential subscription service: what’s a better lure than a “keep yourself out of trouble” button?
Twitter is working on “Undo Send” timer for tweets pic.twitter.com/nS0kuijPK0— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) March 5, 2021
The only thing Twitter’s confirmed so far is the existence of a test for the Undo feature. But as you can see in Wong’s screen capture above, there’s at the very least something in the underlying Twitter code that ties Undo directly to a subscription.
But here’s the thing: Who cares? Take a look at Wong’s earlier tweet, located just below the screenshot above. Hit play on the GIF in her March 5 tweet and you’ll see how Undo actually works. It’s a lot like Gmail’s undo feature, where your email is basically just placed on hold for a few seconds before it actually sends. This gives the sender a brief window to click the undo link and not send the email that hadn’t actually been sent yet.
Granted, there are plenty of people who will hit “send” on something — whether it’s an email, tweet, or something else — and then regret it. But let’s be honest with ourselves about what an Undo feature like this really is: The equivalent of a service putting up an “Are you sure?” prompt when you hit send.
If Twitter is open to suggestions for the undo button, here’s one: have it pop up if someone blasts through the offensive tweet warning, giving them a few more seconds to reconsider.