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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Twitter Rolls out Automatic URL Shortening

Microblogging site Twitter has finally fulfilled users' longtime wish. The company has introduced an automatic URL shortner.
The social notworking web site has been missing this feature ever since it launched and, although many third party providers have stepped up to fill the void, some users have preferred the idea of staying within the Twitter environment and just posted shorter messages instead.

Hereafter, the users can paste a link of any length into the message composition box on the site, according to a company blog post.

Links of any length will be cut down to a tidy number of characters — 19, to be precise — and an ellipsis when the sender clicks the Tweet button.
Although each link is assigned a unique link ID, the links will appear on Twitter as abbreviated versions of their originals so users always have some idea of where their next click will take them — a smart move on Twitter’s part given the number of URL-shortened spam or scam links that have made the rounds on the microblogging platform over the past year or so.

Still, you can expect to see plenty of other URL shorteners floating around Twitter — especially ones like Hootsuite that give their users a full analytics rundown for each link. Twitter said users can still use any third-party link-shortening services on

Twitter's link service is only used on links posted on Twitter and is not available as a general shortening service.

The company emphasized the security aspects of its new service. URLs converted by Twitter's link service are checked against a list of potentially dangerous sites, and when there's a match, users will be warned before they continue, says Twitter.

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