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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Twitter Breaks Links

Why does twitter shorten the link on posts where link doesn't need to be shortened?



I used bit.ly to make a decriptive link, and twitter changed it from http://bit.ly/BlameDrewDatehMusic to http://bit.ly/BlameDrewDate....

The link still works when you are on twitter, but when someone copies the link manually and then retweets it, the link breaks.

Details:

Twitter changed the link on my post, from this:

Blame Drew's Cancer: The Music Video by Paul Dateh http://bit.ly/BlameDrewDatehMusic #blamedrewscancer


To this:

Blame Drew's Cancer: The Music Video by Paul Dateh http://bit.ly/BlameDrewDate... #blamedrewscancer


On twitter, the link works, until someone retweets it, by copying and pasting the tweet into a new post, then it breaks.

Broken link:

melissapierce RT @stevegarfield: Blame Drew's Cancer: The Music Video by Paul Dateh http://bit.ly/BlameDrewDate.. #blamedrewscancer i know amazing ppl


I blame Drews Cancer

Update:

Example #2:

Original post:
stevegarfield#blamedrewscancer Music Video http://bit.ly/BlameDrewDatehMusic


Twitter shortened:
stevegarfield#blamedrewscancer Music Video http://bit.ly/BlameDrewDate...


Note: This shortend link works at twitter.com, but will break if someone manually copies and pastes it to retweet it.

Example #3:
Original post:
stevegarfield#blamedrewscancer Music Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHDiurJY3lg


Twitter shortened:
stevegarfield#blamedrewscancer Music Video http://bit.ly/nSFfW
I don't understand why twitter feels the need to shorten that YouTube link. and note the shortened URL, nSFfW. Weird.

I know twitter is working on incorporating the retweet function. I hope they makes things better and not worse. I also hope that when retweeting, we'll be able to add editorial comments to retweets.

2 comments:

  1. Steverino,
    What they're doing is shortening the link visible text, not the link itself (the href attribute of the "a" element). To copy a link like this successfully, don't select the text and copy it, use right-click on the link and use the menu item "Copy Link" (on Firefox, Safari anyway). This will put the contents of the href attribute into your paste buffer.

    Happy copy/pasting!! :)
    JoeC

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  2. Joe,
    I KNOW that, but casual web users do not. My mom doesn't, and anyone who just copies a tweet to retweet it doesn't get it either.

    I think Twitter just recently started doing this because I see alot of retweets with broken links.

    Are they doing it on purpose to reduce manual retweeting in advance of introducing their own retweeting mechanism?

    It's like people who can't figure out why pasted URL's in emails don't work when they get split into two lines.

    There's not reason for them to shorten URLs like this when they FIT in 140 CHARACTERs.

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