Update: Twitter does not remove 7 characters from its shortened links. Instead, it converts all links to t.co before shortening, and calculates characters based on the t.co URL (which will always be 20 characters), regardless of what it displays in your tweet. Thanks to @WebTrawler for alerting us to this.
Wow, this is pretty neat. It looks like if you use Twitter.com to shorten your links (which is only available on the #NewTwitter), you will potentially get a handful of extra characters. Here’s how it works:
If you tweet a link from Twitter.com and use the new official Twitter URL shortener, that link will be shortened right there within the “What’s Happening” box. A cool, much-requested feature that users seem to be pretty happy about.
But a little-known feature of this new shortening service is that it will remove the http:// from your tweet if you need the extra characters.
First pointed out by the TweetSmarter blog, this new feature means that, if you need it, you’ll get 7 extra characters when you tweet a link from Twitter.com. And you’ll get 14 extra characters if you tweet two. And 21 extra characters if you tweet three. And so on.
Take a look at the image below to see what I mean:
The link has been stripped of its http://, but it still works as a hyperlink. And, couple this with the fact that Twitter’s official URL shortener is only 19 characters (rather than the usual 20) to begin with, this is a pretty compelling way to shorten your links – especially if you’re a little on the wordy side!