If you’ve been holding your breath for this one, go ahead and exhale: Twitter has finally added an automatic link shortening feature to Twitter.com.
Announced on Tuesday on the Twitter blog, the feature means you can now shorten links directly from within the “What’s happening?” box on Twitter.com – no more having to use a third-party shortener.
Here’s how it works:
You simply paste a link of any length into the “What’s happening?” box on Twitter.com, write the rest of your tweet either before or after the link, and hit “Tweet”. Voila! Your link will be shortened to a 19-character heaven-sent mini-URL.
You’ll know that your link will be shortened thanks to a little note below the text field:
This feature hasn’t been rolled out to all users yet, so don’t fret if you’re not seeing the magic “Link will appear shortened” message when testing this out.
Links sent this way will receive a t.co (Twitter’s internal URL shortening service) ID, but they will appear as a shortened version of the linked-to site’s URL.
Aside from being convenient for Twitter.com users, this service offers the added benefit of being more secure than some other URL shorteners out there. If a link shortened this way is flagged as malicious, Twitter will redirect all subsequent users who click on the shortened URL to a page that warns them of its status.
And, finally, if you are a bit.ly user or you prefer another link shortening service, never fear: your pre-shortened links copied and pasted into Twitter.com will still function as they always have.