Short URLs: The advantages and disadvantages — In The Event You Be Using Short URLs on Twitter, Facebook, along with the Web?

Some explanation first. Short URLs are long URLs which have been shortened to make them fit more readily within a message, Facebook update, or Tweet. In and also themselves there is certainly nothing wrong with Short URLs, but you should look into the advantages and disadvantages before using them.

There are numerous factors why you might want or want to use a shortened URL. Should you choose many Tweets on Twitter you can expect to almost need to use Short URLs if you relate to sites, recently Twitter initiated an auto URL shortening function on their site. This is because due to Twitter’s limitation of 140 characters for a Tweet, basically what you will have available had you been utilizing a cellphone for texting. So, if you wish to devote a URL into a website page and will include some explanation you can easily go over that 140 characters. This is where shortening a URL is handy, it gives you more room for comment. Several longer URLs will be more than 140 characters long, especially URLs from sites using Dynamic content to make pages, like shopping sites and news services. Fortunately Twitter has information and links to URL shortening services to assist you make this happen (more about these services later).

For instance an average product link on Amazon or other online sales site can contain 100 if not more characters, with 150 not unusual. A URL of 120 characters in size would give you only 20 characters for comment if you utilize Twitter and even though you aren’t it leaves you using a very hard to remember URL.

A similar URL shortened by using a professional url shortener service on the web could contain 20 characters or less.

Many URL shortening services allow you to create custom shortcuts on your links so you can retain some name recognition. Custom shortcut names may be used, on condition that no one is employing then you can choose any shortcut that you would like. Typically these shortcuts would then get to be the name of your link, following the name of the URL shortening service.

Another reason why you may want to shorten a URL is to make it more user friendly and memorable. During the examples above it will be much easier to recall the shortened URL rather than long one.

So, two very good reasons to employ a URL shortening service, now lets look into some of the downsides. You must weigh the advantages and disadvantages and consider your audience prior to using a shortened URL. The main downside to URL shortening services is basically that you are no longer showing the specific URL. For example in the examples over the long URL is certainly going that you say this is due to the specific path is displayed during the URL, nevertheless in another shortened URL it is not clear the location where the URL is pointing to.

This might lead to concerns with the audience given that they can not immediately tell the location where the link is pointing. It might be pointing towards the product as you may claim, or it might be pointing to a malicious internet site instead. This is exactly why I would suggest against hitting shortened URLs from people or sites you don’t know, it is actually a security risk. In case your audience is unsure of what you are about you can lose clicks with a shortened URL.


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