No more “Arggh! Copy, delete, paste, edit, post.” Facebook is now rolling out the ability to edit comments, but users will be able to see the full edit history of a thread. This is just one more feature that I really liked about Google+, since I could essentially live blog with it and fix my mistakes, but that Facebook has now too.
Facebook tells me comment editing is rolling out now and will become available to everyone in the next few days on the web. There’s no comment editing yet in Facebook’s embeddable comment widget for websites or from mobile yet where that damn auto-correct lurks. Also, you still can’t edit original posts, all of which would be much more helpful than this. But I guess if you have to say or spell something wrong, do it from your desktop on someone else’s news feed post.
Facebook made a step in the right direction a year ago when it let you edit comments within a few seconds of posting them so you could fix immediately recognized typos as seen below.
Now that time limit’s been lifted. So if you come back to a post later and see you spelled Philadelphia wrong, like I did in an article this morning (bollocks!), you can change it. And if you already had these new features, you were some of the lucky testers, and soon your friends will get comment editing too.
With the new Edit History, though, curious parties can investigate. So don’t go back and change your controversial point of view on to something more palatable or you could get called out. As soon as I get these features I’ll add screenshots.
We’re waiting to hear back from Facebook on whether comment editing will be available in its Comments Box social plugin, that many blogs including TechCrunch use to dissuade trolling.
This is all a step up from what’s currently available, which is copying your messed up comment, deleting it, starting a new comment, pasting, fixing, and posting. And when you comment something stupid or have an awful typo, your first inclination is to immediately delete it without copying, and then you have to pick your brain to reconstruct it.
While this update is less than groundbreaking, just like the emoticon menu it added to Chat yesterday, it makes Facebook more user friendly. Even shaving a few seconds off people’s commenting flows adds up at the scale of 900 million people.
The real question is whether Facebook will allow original post editing, which Google+ does. While useful, it could also let people retroactively change their opinions and cause subsequent comments to make no sense. Combined with Timeline, you could essentially go back and edit your whole life, which could make people overly self-conscious and nit-picky about what they’d said in the past.