How to use Twitter, Short links (URLs)

by Prashant Kumar Sharma

Having trouble fitting a link into just 140 characters ?http://twitter.com/paacific/

There are a variety of websites that can shorten your long links, making them easier to fit into Twitter’s 140 character limit. These services can provide you with a shorter version of any URL you want to share. Then, you can use the shorter version in your Tweet, and anyone who clicks on it will be redirected to the longer URL. It’s that easy!

twitter_bird  http://twitter.com/paacific/

Here are a couple of examples of free link shortening services that are popular with Twitter users:

Note: Twitter automatically shortens URLs in direct-message email notifications using Twitter’s URL Shortener (http://twt.tl).

Short links (or tiny URLs) are the zip files of Twitter: they allow you to compress a large amount of information into a fraction of the characters needed to find the original object — be it an article, video, photo, or any other web-linkable resource.

This is extremely useful Considering Twitter’s 140 character limit — but there are some negative consequences to short links:

  • hard to read
  • ugly
  • lack useful contextual information about what’s being linked to
  • can be a vector for malware or exploits
  • many short links can point to the same resource
  • they interrupt one’s ability to scan through considerable amounts of tweets efficiently (again, because they provide no human-readable information themselves)
  • they can expire, be redirected, and are otherwise unreliable for long term use

Short links, though, are not going away easily.

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One Comment to “How to use Twitter, Short links (URLs)”

  1. Thanks Prashant.. was helpful 🙂
    Some how i feel that all the social nw are tending towards to look & provide same feels ….leaving just copies of each other in good or bad form

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