The Raw Feed
Where technology and culture collide

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why isn't Twitter itself a URL shortener?

This probably isn't an original idea (I'm sure Raw Feeders will set me straight on this), but why isn't Twitter itself a URL shortener?

Twitter's 140 character limit has got users scrambling to find third-party URL shorteners. You have to copy your URL, find your shortener, paste in the URL, copy the shortned URL, go back to Twitter, paste in the shortened URL. (Or, you have to add yet another Firefox plug-in.)

Another issue surfaced this month when Trim announced that it was going out of business, which would have meant the breaking of user links. (Trim has since announced that they're staying in business after all.)

Twitter will often change and shorten URLs if they're already short enough to fit into 140 characters. Why not accept URLs of any length as long as the words plus the shortened URL fit?

Of course, this wouldn't work sending tweets directly via SMS. But who does that? Everyone's either using a Web page or a cell phone app. If the URL shortening service was as open and extensible as Twitter itself, the phone apps could tap into the URL shortening service as well.

Heck, charge me $5 per year for this. Totally worth it.


Blogger TanMan said...

If you use the Twitter web page to compose your Tweet, Twitter will shorten your URL. It all depends on your client.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Jay Brock said... what does and use it to build their ability to track everyone. (then, of course, put up corresponding ads to profit big time!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:41:00 PM  

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