The rise of Twitter and the 140 character cap it brings (which in turn comes from texting, but that’s a different story) has forced URL shortening upon us. Let’s face it, most URLs won’t leave much room for actual content in a tweet, and that’s why we use services like TinyURL and bit.ly. However, they offer risks as well, since someone can claim that an URL is for a certain thing, while it in fact is something completely different. If you’re lucky, it is just a hidden affiliate ad, but you might just as well end up at a site containing malicious code. [Read more…]
Twitter has been using TinyURL for its own URL shortening needs. Up until now, that is. As several sites have noticed, Twitter has silently replaced TinyURL with bit.ly. TechCrunch doesn’t find that very surprising, naming Betaworks as common ground for both bit.ly and now Twitter-owned Summize.
Will Twitter buy bit.ly next? They should, the fact that they’ve been relying on external infrastructure for their URL shortening needs this long is surprising.
Recently an email subscriber complained that I had sent out a newsletter containing links shortened via a URL shortner service.
There are a couple of reasons I did this. First if a URL is too long email programs break the links by wrapping. This means I get a lot of people saying the links don’t work. The second reason is in the past Aweber’s built-in click tracking shortened URLs have broken also when the URL contained non-standard stuff.
Of course the problem when people see a URL-shortened link is they don’t know if they can trust it. I have three solutions, and they are all easy to implement on WordPress. [Read more…]
Committee to Protect Bloggers reports that TinyURL has been blocked in Saudi Arabia. The URL shortener service is not the only option out there for your shortened URLs, but it is the default one for Twitter, so if you want to reach the Saudi followers you’d better use another service. I should also link the Facebook group that wants TinyURL unblocked, but I doubt it’ll do any good, at least not with a mere 19 members.