Automatic link-shortening feature unveiled by Twitter

twitterA lot’s been happening at Twitter in the last couple of months as it continues its drive to bring more and more services in-house. It recently paid a fair whack for the TweetDeck third-party client. Then there was the introduction of a “Follow” button. After that, it rolled out a new photo sharing tool. And on Tuesday the company released a feature that will automatically shorten links.

“Today, we’re releasing something that many of you have been asking for – automatic link shortening on Twitter.com,” the company said on its blog on Tuesday.

The post explains how the new feature works: “Just paste a link of any length into the Tweet box on Twitter.com. After you’ve composed your Tweet and you hit the “Tweet” button, we’ll shorten the link so that it only takes up 19 characters,” meaning that you won’t have to be so concerned about fitting it within the 140 character limit.

According to the post, this makes sharing links “simple and instant.” The feature also helps to increase security as users will now be directed to a special warning page should they click on a link that has already been reported as malicious.

Just as the likes of TwitPic and yfrog may have had a sinking feeling when Twitter’s new photo service was launched last week, link-shortening services such as bitly may well be experiencing a similar sensation today. However, Twitter has pointed out that fans of those third-party services will be able to continue to use them.

A support page from Twitter explains exactly how to use the new feature:

1. Start typing or paste a long URL into the Tweet box.

2. After you’ve entered the first 13 characters of a URL, a message will appear at the bottom of the Tweet box, letting you know that the link will appear shortened.

3. Notice that even if you’ve reached the character limit, you can continue to add text to the URL with no consequence.

4. Once the Tweet is posted, it will be assigned a t.co link ID, but the link will appear as a shortened version of the original URL, so people who see your Tweet will know the site they are going to.

Twitter says that the new link-shortening feature will be rolled out gradually, initially being made available to “a small percentage of users.”

“It will eventually be available for everyone,” the company said. “You should see it soon.”

News

In SEC filing, Facebook admits Libra cryptocurrency may not happen after all

Facebook’s drive to create its own worldwide cryptocurrency might have hit a brick wall. In a new SEC filing, the company said that Libra’s planned 2020 launch might be delayed – or it might not ever happen at all.
News

Sen. Josh Hawley wants to ban infinite scroll and autoplay videos

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced legislation on Tuesday calling for tech giants to curb deceptive techniques that fuel social media addiction.The bill would ban features that he says can be addictive to users like infinite scroll and autoplay.
Wearables

Facebook’s ‘brain-computer interface’ could let you type with your mind

Facebook talked a couple of years ago about creating technology that lets you type with your mind. Aimed primarily at patients with speech loss due to paralysis, the company recently offered an update on its ambitious project.
News

Facebook just deleted fake accounts from the Middle East

Facebook removed fake accounts from UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia because of coordinated inauthentic behavior. The social network announced in a blog post the removal of pages, groups, and accounts that originated in these countries.
News

The FTC wants to know exactly why Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp

The Federal Trade Commission's antitrust investigation into Facebook will focus in on its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. The FTC wants to know if Facebook tried to acquire its social media rivals before they would become a threat
News

Facebook is going to add its name to Instagram and WhatsApp

Facebook plans to add its name to both Instagram and WhatsApp as politicians call for the social media giant to be broken apart and the FTC investigates Facebook’s acquisition of both companies.
News

WhatsApp has 400 million users in India, but no fix for its fake news problem

WhatsApp is struggling to stem the tide of fake news in India, its biggest market. In the last few years, its platform has been inundated with an around-the-clock avalanche of misinformation -- misleading mobs into lynching innocents and…
Web

Were they really that bad? Here are the 10 most disliked videos on YouTube

Ever wondered which videos are the most disliked videos on YouTube? Well, we have the top ten list you’re looking for. Here are the latest videos with the most dislikes currently on YouTube.
Mobile

Telegram’s new Slow Mode aims to bring order to noisy group chats

Messaging app Telegram has just released some new features that are bound to please. Slow Mode aims to bring some order to group chats, while Silent Messages ensures you won’t wake your buddy if you get in touch late in the day.
Social Media

The EU could hit Facebook with billions in fines over privacy violations

The European Union is reportedly nearing the end of its investigations into some of the cases it has opened against Facebook pertaining to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. The EU currently has 11 open cases against the…
Social Media

Quit hitting refresh: Twitter is testing a subscribe to tweet replies feature

Soon you might be able to get a push notification when a tweet has been replied to as well. Twitter is currently testing a new feature that will allow users to turn on notifications for a particular thread.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier than ever, but choosing the right tool to use isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our three favorite tools.
News

Facebook admits it was listening to your private conversations, too

Facebook outsourced contractors to listen in on your audio messenger chats and transcribe them. Contractors were not told why they were listening in or why they were transcribing them. Facebook said it is no longer transcribing audio. 
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.