September 27, 2013
Facebook Now Lets Users Edit Their Status Updates
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The edit feature is a long awaited one, particularly where mobile devices are concerned. Users are now able to edit their posts after they’ve submitted them, keeping their friends’ comments and likes in check. Previously users were only allowed to delete their posts and resubmit them if there was a typo or other error. Last year Facebook began allowing users to edit the comments they left on friends’ posts, and in 2011 users were allowed to edit photo captions, but only if they did so within a few seconds of creating the post.
Editing a post on the web is quick and simple; hovering over the post calls up a small, downward-facing arrow. When clicked, this menu allows users to change the date of their post, add a location, delete the post and edit it. Edits appear instantly on Facebook and no comments or likes are lost in the process. Unlike the ability to edit photo captions, users can edit older posts as well.
Google+ has allowed users to edit posts for years, but Facebook has only just now seen it fit to add the seemingly elementary feature to its network. It has been suggested part of the reason Facebook was hesitant to roll this feature out was to prevent pranks and other misdeeds. For instance, users can now change their posts to say completely the opposite of what the resulting conversation is about in the comments.
Facebook has slowly been testing the waters with editing by allowing photo caption edits first, followed by comment editing. Though handy on the web, this feature is clearly aimed at mobile users who submit posts from tiny, touchscreen keyboards. This is only one of the many ways the social network has been focusing its attention on the mobile platform in an effort to bring in users and keep them engaged with the site for longer periods of time.
Moves such as buying Instagram and rolling out individual apps for photos and messages were only the beginning. Mark Zuckerberg began this year with a call to investors wherein he said: “Today, there is no argument. Facebook is a mobile company.” The company now faces the struggle of continuing to roll out ads without upsetting users while finding new ways to monetize their network.
Now that Facebook and Google+ allow editing of posts, Twitter remains the sole holdout of the big three social networks which force its users to commit to what they say, despite any typos or other errors. Though it seemed as if Facebook may never roll out this feature, it is almost certain Twitter will never allow users to do much more than delete a Tweet.