Sometimes we want to share links on the internet. For example, you want to share this link in Twitter: www.google.com/maps/place/Beasley’s+Chicken+and+Honeyemail@example.com,-78.638112,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x9ede9af11fda231a
But this URL is very long. Twitter limits posts to just 280 characters. That doesn’t leave many characters to say something about the link! Luckily, there is an easy solution: URL shorteners.
A URL shortener is an online service that gives you a new, very short URL that is easier to share. It’s not just useful with Twitter, but also with email, text messages, and any other situation where a long URL is unmanageable.
How To Shorten URLs?
The basic process is to copy the long URL into the URL shortener, and it will give you a shorter URL. The exact steps are below:
Step 1: Go to any website (you can use this link if you want). Websites with longer URLs are the best candidates for URL shortening, although any site will work.
Step 2: Select the URL in the address bar and copy it. You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C (or Command+C on a Mac) to copy it.
Step 3: Go to TinyURL.com and paste the URL into the space provided, using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V (or Command+V).
Step 4: Click Make TinyURL.
The shortened URL will appear. You can then copy the new URL and paste it wherever you want!
How Does it Work?
URL shorteners aren’t just useful with Twitter. There are lots of situations where a shorter URL is more convenient:
- Emails: Long URLS can sometimes wrap to two or more lines, which makes them unwieldy.
- Resumes and cover letters: Shortened URLs can look a bit neater.
- Text messages: Most text messages have a limit of 160 characters, making short URLs essential.
- Phones: If you need to tell someone to go to a specific webpage, a shortened URL can save time and trouble.
Those are just a few examples, but URL shorteners can be used in any situation where a long URL would cause problems.