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Why you should care about Facebook’s “Edit Post” feature

10.15.2013
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Prone to typos? You’re in luck!

As you may have noticed, Facebook has slowly been rolling out a feature that allows users to edit posts on the social network after they have been posted. In the past, if you wrote something with a typo or hit “Post” too quickly, the network required you to delete the post and recreate it from scratch, losing any Likes or engagement that the post had earned. With the new “Edit Post” feature, fixing typos or making changes is simpler than ever before.

This image demonstrates the new dropdown menu option, “Edit,” where you can edit the contents of a post:

Here is the edited post, with the notice “Edited” appearing next to the timestamp:

Anybody can view the “Edit History” to see how the user has altered the original post:

Although the new feature allows users to fix mistakes without deleting a post or activity, editing posts presents a compliance risk for regulated industries.

By editing a post, a user could potentially pull a “bait and switch,” changing the nature of the post after friends or fans had already engaged with the original post. Here’s a fairly innocuous example: a user could share a post that reads “Like if you love the San Francisco Giants,” gather likes and affirming comments, and then edit the original post to read “Who hopes the Giants lose the series?”

In regulated industries, however, edited posts could pose a more serious compliance risk, because a quick edit could change a post from something approved by compliance to something inappropriate. Some companies leveraging third-party compliance tools may have trouble capturing this change, but Hearsay Social already has a solution in order to ensure there is no lapse in compliance coverage. Additionally, we’re working closely with Facebook in order to build an easier-to-use solution that enables compliance users to efficiently review post-edits.

Today, Facebook addresses the potential for a “bait and switch” by marking the post as “Edited” and letting viewers access the history of any changes made to the post. Facebook believes that providing this audit trail will minimize such abuses of the edit feature. In a world where authentic engaging content wins out, it makes sense: anybody who would abuse this feature to mislead followers or friends by editing a post would quickly lose followers and engagement which are not easy to earn back.

In recent months, Facebook has been slowly providing users with more editing capabilities across a variety of content, including the ability to edit comments and captions on photos. This new ability to edit posts will also be slowly rolling out to all users via the Web and Android devices.  We expect iPhone support for editing posts to follow soon.

Stay tuned to our blog for more important updates to Facebook and the other social networks!

Published at DZone with permission of Hearsay Social, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)