why are people posting short URLs on twitter?

66 replies
Like bit.ly etc ? Simply because of the limited space?
#people #posting #short #twitter #urls
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    Twitter does it automatically I believe if you put in a long URL.
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    That's why I do it - with only 140 characters you don't want to take up half your tweet with a long URL!

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOProScott
    Lack of space is why people post short URLs on twitter. Normally use tinyurl or bit.ly here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sparhawke
    TinyUrl is great for this, I have been known to blog upto and beyond 2000 words at a time, with only 140 characters I can easily exceed this by describing the taste of a raspberry.

    It is simply a space saver.
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    • Profile picture of the author efwebm
      Originally Posted by Sparhawke View Post

      I can easily exceed this by describing the taste of a raspberry.
      This is why I don't do twitter
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      • Profile picture of the author Rashell
        I use the Pretty Link plugin for WP to make my own domain the url shortener. (can shorten any link out there) Has some tracking but granted not as pretty as the bit.ly interface.

        Yourls is another "own domain" shortener that works without WP.

        Shorten2Ping autoposts blogs posts with my domain as url shortener from my blog to ping.fm which then autoposts out to several other networks. I choose not to use any auto shortener (ie bit.ly) in the ping.fm settings option to maintain my domain as url shortener.

        Twitter Friendly Links is another WP Plugin. However, this integrates with other plugins like Sexy Bookmarks so visitors can "tweet" the post using my "own domain" as url shortener.

        There's a lot of "no follow" added to the social networks but there are enough "do follow" that it becomes an easy way to auto-add a few links here and there.

        Rashell
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Yes, it's a space saver (and Twitter does it automatically).

    As someone reading these posts, however, it's not something that makes me do cartwheels. I like to see what URL I'm going to rather than clicking on a blind link. You never know what nasty surprise might be hiding on the other side of those links.

    Cheers,
    Becky
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

      I like to see what URL I'm going to rather than clicking on a blind link. You never know what nasty surprise might be hiding on the other side of those links.
      Becky

      I use HootSuite. Simply hover over the plus sign beside short URLs and it gives you info in a pop-up. Saves clicking through on many tweets.
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    • Profile picture of the author grayambition
      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

      As someone reading these posts, however, it's not something that makes me do cartwheels. I like to see what URL I'm going to rather than clicking on a blind link. You never know what nasty surprise might be hiding on the other side of those links.
      If you use Tweetdeck, clicking on a shortened url displays the full link. Then you can click again to open the link if you want. So no scary surprises.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    well i just tweeted an url of my blog but it didnt get shortened?
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      well i just tweeted an url of my blog but it didnt get shortened?
      Here's why George... I stand corrected. This change was made in Dec.


      Does Twitter provide URL/link shortening?

      Submitted Dec 11, 2009 by Nachtigal
      URL/Link Shortening



      Twitter used to shorten links automatically but we do not any longer. Here' s a link to a list of possible services you can use.


      We are also currently working on this feature, so be sure to keep on eye on this page for further developments.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

        Here's why George... I stand corrected. This change was made in Dec.

        Does Twitter provide URL/link shortening?

        Submitted Dec 11, 2009 by Nachtigal
        URL/Link Shortening



        Twitter used to shorten links automatically but we do not any longer. Here' s a link to a list of possible services you can use.


        We are also currently working on this feature, so be sure to keep on eye on this page for further developments.
        That can't be right. I've tweeted blog links this past week, and two of them were automatically converted to bit.ly URLs.
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    • Profile picture of the author petelta
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      well i just tweeted an url of my blog but it didnt get shortened?
      it won't shorten automatically. I use Hootsuite. It's free and can post to all your social areas like facebook, facebook fan pages, twitter, etc. It has an automatic url shortener.

      You need that extra space to add the "Please RT"
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    • Profile picture of the author petelta
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      well i just tweeted an url of my blog but it didnt get shortened?
      use hootsuite, you can post to all your social spots from this and it has a url shortener right next to the message entry area.

      You need that extra room for the "Please RT"
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  • Bit.ly also offers some analytics information on links that you shorten -- a great resource. But mostly, it's just a space saver!
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  • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
    Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

    Like bit.ly etc ? Simply because of the limited space?
    I use tweetdeck and it shortens the URL's for me automatically.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mukul Verma
    Tweetdeck does shorten it.

    I think its also so people dont know its an affiliate link. I get nice tweets that go straight to sales pages often.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    That's an interesting question, George. You really answered your question by asking it. Twitter limits characters. The perfect solution is t
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  • Profile picture of the author sahail
    It is to save space. Long urls are beginning to look ugly now

    Tweetlater (now SocialOomph) do it pretty much automatically.
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    • Profile picture of the author UnstoppableJoy
      Here Is A Marketers Link Shortening Tracking Trick

      Sign up for a free account on bit.ly and you will get stats on how many folks clicked and when.

      It is a great free service that allows an additional tracking level.

      Tweetdeck will even connect your bit.ly account so you automatically have stats on your tweetdeck shortened links.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketstriker
    There was a time, when every character counted. There were even special services, which reduced long URLs to tiny forms. Now TinyURL is down, so you don't have to shorten your URLs. But as mentioned short URL still gives you a lot of prefferences.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourPalAl
    You can post as long as URL as you wish on Twitter as long as all characters are within 140 total characters. Great third party twitter clients like tweetdeck, hootsuite have built in url shorteners. You can also go to bit.ly or tinyurl as well. Additionally many of the service allow you to track clicks to see which links and tweets are more effective than others. Want to learn more about twitter? Check out twitterwatchdog.com
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    • Profile picture of the author HigherPrThanGod
      Isn't twitter no follow? And as such, if you're linking to a domain or page you want indexed or followed wouldn't it be better to put the full URL?

      I've noticed that Google will inadvertently index the full post, along with it's URL which DOES help with PR. At least I think it does..

      But there's so much confusion, who the hell knows? lol
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  • Profile picture of the author usable_brand
    I use bit.ly for tracking. Thus I can discover which of my tweets were successful at getting clicks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Heidi White
      Originally Posted by DogScout View Post

      leave off the 'http://' and it doesn't auto shorten
      ohhhh - thanks, I never realized that!


      For Affiliate link cloaking and URL shortening - I've used Cli.gs at times with good results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woody C
    I use Brizzly and it auto-shortens using bit.ly. I'm not sure if Twitter itself still auto-shortens or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author hydseo
    twitter use application which shortens the URL'S due to lack of space in message box

    Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Evans
    You don't need to use a url shortener with Twitter for WordPress blogs, just use links in the default permalink format. For example:

    http://colin-evans.com?p=195
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  • Profile picture of the author Ralf Skirr
    Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

    Like bit.ly etc ? Simply because of the limited space?
    Limited space is the main reason, but there's another one:

    some URL shortening services will track the clicks and give you detailed statistics.

    Ralf
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Wood
    to save space and to enable tracking. Bitly tracks clicks on it's url's. So if you tweet a link and want to know how many people clicked it you can.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    If you do use a shortener with Twitter, use bit.ly, and more importantly sign up for a free account with bit.ly so that you can save all your links there. In addition to that, having a bit.ly account allows you to track the clicks from the links that you have created, and you also get to create custom URLs (I'm not sure if you can do this without an account, I'm guessing that you probably can as well).
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    I lurk in the dark-side and alot of black-hatters use these services to spam as well. I think they call it e-whoring.

    join a webcam affiliate program, find a cam-girl you like, take a couple of screen-captures, then set up a fake twitter account under that persons identity, then they setup automated tweets to try to look like a legit female account and occasionally in the tweets they use the link shortening services to post their affiliate link.

    plus as mentioned you have limited number of characters so it makes perfect sense to do so.
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  • Profile picture of the author sandra.IMqueen
    Short URl's for space primarily after all 140 characters keeps you focused. Long urls' are a turn off and so short makes a difference. but as with all things juts check out where you are being led.
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  • Profile picture of the author piplaw
    I think it's because of the lack of space plus for some tracking. It is hard to track people to your site comingvia twitter.
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  • Profile picture of the author karlhadwen
    Just for long URL's such as blog posts etc and Twitter tends to do it automatically sometimes.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonMills
    Try tweetdeck its a good tool and will automatically shorten for you your url
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanSupplee
    as long as its a referral url or affiliate url I shorten it. People are used to seeing this and its not a big deal. However if its my main domain name then I will leave it as such for branding purpose and its normally shorter then if I use this service.

    Many plugin apps though will automatically shorten any url such as with blogging tweetmeme
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinfar
    I guess it's a habit. I tend to automatically shorten my URL when I get it out due to it possibly being too long and ugly.

    So just a quick head over to tinyUrl and I'm all set.

    At least that's my opinion.

    Kevin
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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      Space saver, sure. But why use tinyurl, etc.?

      Why not get your own short domain that you can "brand" to a degree and just use a new subfolder to redirect anything you want?

      Say I bought LanceK.com and used it for all tweets. If I wanted to promote Traffic Secrets 2.0, I could use LanceK.com/TS2 for the url. You're not going to get a tinyurl shorter than that.
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  • Profile picture of the author digigo
    the downside is.. you lose the ability to promote your brand.. for a lot of marketers.. website is their brand.
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    • Profile picture of the author rypher21
      Originally Posted by digigo View Post

      the downside is.. you lose the ability to promote your brand.. for a lot of marketers.. website is their brand.
      true..but just put a meaningful and catchy description in your tweet
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  • Profile picture of the author dsmpublishing
    Hi guys

    i use short url because of the size issue but a lot of the time twitter will do it for me

    kind regards


    sam
    X
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalstar
    I use bit.ly because of 140 character limit on twitter and also for tracking of clicks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Why9999
    Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

    Like bit.ly etc ? Simply because of the limited space?
    It's important to go well less than the 140 so that if someone want to retweet you and maybe add a comment or two, they can do it easily.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    I do not use any 3rd party short url's .. Bad idea ... I use my own system and the reason why is :

    1. Because I do not want to use a 3rd party like bit.ly
    2. If I use my own system then I have full control
    3. I know my links will be live without any problems
    4. Because my short urls drive additional link juice to my site thus meaning increased rankings.
    5. Using a 3rd party you are only helping them out and not yourself because the fact is the short url will be indexed and not the redirected url.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    Guess what happens in 6 months when the third party you use to shorten goes out of business ?

    Just sayin
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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

      Guess what happens in 6 months when the third party you use to shorten goes out of business ?

      Just sayin
      Exactly why my members have access to not only 1 short url but 2 different short url's that can only be used by my members and the domains are owned by me ...

      James
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    • Profile picture of the author eric w
      Originally Posted by Troy_Phillips View Post

      Guess what happens in 6 months when the third party you use to shorten goes out of business ?

      Just sayin
      Good point Troy! I use tiny url.....haven't used bitly, yet.

      What's a better way to cloak an affiliate link?
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      • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
        Originally Posted by eric w View Post

        Good point Troy! I use tiny url.....haven't used bitly, yet.

        What's a better way to cloak an affiliate link?
        I like redirects myself
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  • Profile picture of the author Mac the Knife
    Personally, I stick to my reg url's. Then again, I am looking to brand the url's and want people to see the website name which includes the company name as well. I would rather be creative with my message using few words than shorten my brand...

    Mac the Knife
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  • Profile picture of the author JNFerree
    I use Bit.ly on Twitter and FB and on my Blog so I can shorten the URL and track the clicks and where they come from.



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  • Profile picture of the author hisnibbs
    Tweetdeck is your friend - and it's good Tweettiquette to shorten your URLS, don;t want long strings of boring . forward slash htm : etc. Get to the juice and that 140 character limit is very easy to run up against!
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  • Profile picture of the author createyouwealth
    I believe your answer has been answered correctly by the fellow warriors. I saw a couple that were wrong though, twitter does not automatically shorten your url for you, you have to go to bit.ly or whatever shortening service you use to shorten your links. And yes it is a very good space saver with the limited characters they allow. All the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizfox
    If you sign up to bitly you can check metrics
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  • Profile picture of the author inspiro
    Bit.ly is pretty reliable... it also does 301 redirects so the link "juice" is passed on.
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  • Profile picture of the author hisnibbs
    Doesn't bit.ly recycle short urls? So your clickthroughs get muddied by those of other marketers who may have shortened the same URL?

    And aren't clickbank hoplinks verboten???
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark72
    It is primarily because of the character limit, but bit.ly also offers click tracking, bot filtering and some other stats showing geographical information.

    Another reason to use bit.ly is that people on twitter are used to seeing it and so don't hesitate to click if they see something that interests them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dimitris Skiadas
    Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

    Like bit.ly etc ? Simply because of the limited space?
    1.Lack of space.Only 140 characters for a tweet to be made.

    2.Tracking results.Maybe it's an affiliate offer or maybe you want to see how many people read your tweets and visit the links you post.

    Personally i use URL shortners for both reasons

    Dimitris
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNewJames
    Yup, 140 characters, why fill it up with a long site?
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  • Profile picture of the author mmg1865
    Redirects are good, but for Twitter they are too lengthy.

    Agree with the other poster too, if company goes OOB.
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  • Profile picture of the author tanjiehao
    Twitter only allows 140 words whenever you post a Tweet to make the system short and sweet. A long link will probably take up a lot of those words and TinyUrls are the way to go for posting links. It takes up only about 10 words and its very simple to use!
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  • Profile picture of the author marketinguk
    Yep like most folks here are saying it's a lot to do with the length restricitions Twitter imposes on people posting. I have myself in the past used bit.ly until I one day realised that I didn't want to click on other people's bit.ly links as i have no idea where they're redirecting me to.

    Joel
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  • Profile picture of the author moneymakerway
    The reason is simple ⇨ to have more space for your message!
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