How to Shorten Links for Twitter

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Using Twitter effectively means you must be brief in your postings or the 140-characters limit may quickly be surpassed. Sharing links is a valuable communication tool in Twitter. Shortening lengthy URLs will keep your posts under the character limit. Several independent websites provide URL address shorteners for free and reduce the addresses to approximately 20 characters.

  • Open the web page you wish to add to a Tweet. Select the URL in your browser's address bar.

  • Access the home page of one of the URL-shortening websites, such as Bit.ly, TinyURL.com or Ow.ly.

  • Paste the URL you copied previously into the address entry area of the URL-shortening website.

  • Select "Enter" or shorten and allow the website to generate a new URL with the shortened address.

  • Copy the address in the new URL window. Paste it to a Word document for reference at a later date.

  • Access your Twitter home page or the Twitter application you use for posting to Twitter. Applications created by independent developers, such as Tweetdeck.com, Hootesuite.com and Seesmic.com, have specialized user interfaces that may be easier to navigate and categorized than the Twitter site.

  • Paste your shortened URL into the message area of your Twitter account or application and press "Send." If the Tweet is a link to marketing, promotions or a valuable link for your followers, check the URL first before sending the link to make sure the shortening was successful.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some Twitter applications, such as Hootesuite and TweetDeck, have a built-in URL shortener in their interface. TweetDeck will automatically shorten any URL pasted to the message box if the shorten URL setting is activated. If you are a heavy Twitter user, an application will make your communications and workflows faster and more efficient.

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