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A suggested improvement to Twitter

They should have an optional field for a link to accompany the post. This would obviate the need for URL shorteners. Presumably the goal of having only one field is to make things simpler, but using URL shorteners is not simple.

Thank you for your time.

June 17, 2009 - Posted by | innovative technologies that shape our lives


  1. I really still don’t understand the appeal of Twitter. What’s the point of a service that limits your blogging (because that’s what it basically is) to a tiny number of characters?

    Comment by stras jones | June 17, 2009

  2. Andy created a desktop application that allows for easy URL shortening – I don’t personally shorten a lot of URL’s, but for those that do I can see this being really useful. Link to the information and install below.

    Comment by Jaime | June 17, 2009

  3. tldr

    Comment by Will | June 17, 2009

  4. Twitter automatically shortens URLs if they’re too long, anyway, so URL shortening isn’t really a big hassle. And if they added a separate URL field, how would they send it via SMS? I think when the Twitter people first thought up the system, they were expecting the text message interface to be the main interface, although it may not have actually turned out that way.

    Comment by voyou | June 17, 2009

  5. You could add a separate URL field via a greasemonkey script that would automatically use a URL-shortener and insert the shortened URL at the end of your message, I bet.

    Comment by ben | June 17, 2009

  6. I can’t get Twitter to do what voyou describes — but it does seem to me, on reflection, that using Twitter primarily as an SMS-based service actually makes more sense than the apparently more popular micro-blogging/marketing model.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 17, 2009

  7. I still don’t understand Facebook. In comparison, Twitter seems positively retarded. Why can’t people just use email to tell their friends about something? Or, heaven forbid, call them if it is important enough? I don’t even understand that text message stuff – I think I’ve only ever received/sent text messages to three people and only because using the phone was not possible. How did people survive in 1996!?

    Comment by Craig | June 17, 2009

  8. That’s just it, Craig. The world was created in 2002. Everything that you think you know about the pre-2002 world is actually the result of memories and artefacts planted by god to test your faith.

    Comment by ben | June 17, 2009

  9. “The Matrix” was only invented in 1999. I dispute your claim. (Their cell phones were awesome in that movie.)

    Comment by Craig | June 17, 2009

  10. A lot of people didn’t survive in 1996, Craig. Maybe you should consider your own privilege before you go spouting off.

    Comment by Wrongshore | June 18, 2009

  11. Tweet Deck gets you closer to where you want to be; by making the URL shortener available right beneath your posting field.

    Comment by Ryan | June 19, 2009

  12. I dispute Wrongshore’s claim. Everyone eligible to survive in 1996 survived in 1996. It’s just that not all of them survived for 1996.

    Comment by ben | June 19, 2009

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