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Twitter Tuesday: Url shortening

19.06.2012 - 16:21

There Can Be Only One

Last week I wrote about sharing links on Twitter and therefore I felt it appropriate to write about url (link) shortening this week. Because of the 140 characters length restriction url shortening is often needed in order to fit the link in a Tweet. These days Twitter automatically shortens urls in Tweets with their own shortening system. It seems to be a decent system, yet not the only one available.

Of course you can always build your own url shortening service with your own domain and all. But if that's not your thing, there are plenty of existing services to go for.

Some of the services provide more features than just the shortening. for instance provides also file/image sharing. Google's service and give click statistics for the shortened urls.

Many of the shortening services, such as the cute moourl also have a way to shorten urls straight through your browser's bookmarks. Some, such as the good old TinyURL allows to choose your own custom alias (such as

I usually use bitly, which has lots of different features. The new version of bitly site is somewhat messy and confusing. The reason for using bitly is it brings together loads of different features. It has statistics, browser integration, custom aliases and even possibility of using a custom url for shortening.

The "bitmarks" as bitly calls their shortened links can be collected to bundles, such as this one. Additionally it provides way to track statistics of all the bitmarks pointing to your domain. Many different Twitter apps, such as Tweetbot give a possibility to use bitly as the default url shortening service.

Again I must say this: Especially after they redesigned the service, bitly isn't perfect. But it's quite flexible and provides loads of interesting stuff. Oh and of course you can use it for shortening the links for other usage than Tweets as well.

Photo by Ian Sane under Creative Commons license.

Suomeksi (In Finnish): 

Viime viikolla kirjoitin linkkien jakamisesta Twitterissä, joten päätin, että tällä viikolla voisin käsitellä linkkien osoitteiden lyhentämistä. Twitterillä on oma sisäänrakennettuärjestelmä linkeille, mutta verkko on pullollaan muitakin vaihtoehtoja. Nämä eri vaihtoehdot tarjoavat erilaisia lisäpalveluita, kuten tiedostojen jakamista tai statistiikkoja. Käytä itse yleensä bitly-nimistä palvelua, josta löytyy statistiikkojen lisäksi paljon muita kivoja lisäkilkkeitä. Yllä käyn läpi niistä muutamia.

Mervi's picture

I'm Mervi Emilia Eskelinen, an artist and branding, marketing and web consultant and coach from Finland. I help indie businesses, freelancers and bloggers to establish their presence online. I have 18 years of experience and a formal education in everything about web design and development, branding and online marketing.

6 comments for "Twitter Tuesday: Url shortening"

Flower Power's picture

WOW! Other people have used my pictures but this particular photo with the sepia tone looks like it was made for your blog. Thank you for using my work and giving me credit. I’m honored!


Ian Sane

Mervi's picture

Thank you Ian for sharing this great photo! I agree, it really fits (part of the reason I chose to use it). I really like the whole setting: The birds, the lamp and the space. Sepia works with this, giving it a sort of a post-apocalyptic look. Post-apocalyptic birdies?

Marta @ I love breakfast's picture

I still have a problem with twitter, I've been trying to convince myself to use it, but it just doesn't go. Thank you for the info anyway. I remember it took me a while to find out about the bitly and how to make it all look good. Very nice picture as well!

Mervi's picture

Hi Marta! Maybe Twitter not for you then. Though you could start with using it for finding stuff. Info, resources etc. Listening, as they call it. Do you have friends using Twitter?

Of relaxing and the Weekly Wrapup | tasselflower's picture
[...] Twitter Tuesday: Url shortening - "Because of the 140 characters length restriction url shortening is often needed in order to fit the link in a Tweet." [...]
Twitter Tuesday: Three tools to help you out | tasselflower 's picture
[...] - Shorten your links with this service and get statistics and custom links. You can also connect Buffer to to [...]

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