5 Jul 2014

Twitter the Twit – When short URLs are longer

Twitter is being a bit of a twit. I was tweeting a link to a very short domain and Twitter thought it would be a good idea to use its automatic URL shortener which in fact produced a longer URL! How dumb is that?

I typed in http://owl.uk which is 13 characters and Twitter replaced it with http://t.co/jLQcgAzbqX which is 22 characters. That’s 9 characters longer. What a waste when you’re only give 140 chars in a message.

The problem occurs in Twitter’s web client and also TweetDeck and I imagine most tweeting apps that don’t do a simple sanity check asking itself “is the URL the user types in shorter than the URL I can replace it with?”

I tried to contact Twitter to point this out to them but there’s no obvious contact information on their website. I was going a little crazy searching.