Why do people use URL shorteners? Pretty much every app makes them clickable so it's not like you need to remember them and most social media apps concatenate them so they don't clutter up your screen. The only other use I see is for tracking and, if you need to see how many people are clicking your links, you're doing something wrong.

There is the argument for cHaRaCtEr LiMiTs but just write text at the top. You don't need a paragraph summary of an article when the title sums it up well enough. That's not a reason to use a shortener and obfuscate the destination

A friend of mine just sent a link to a file he uploaded to Firefox Send and said "I wish they used a URL shortener; that's too long"

Come on. It's not like it's taking up the entirety of your display.

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@amolith URLs of any length cost the same number of characters on Mastodon (or Twitter)

@sir But I don't think I've ever seen a URL that's 500 or even 250 chars long

@sir Regarding links on Twitter, they're all automatically shortened to 23 characters.
help.twitter.com/en/using-twit

As for Mastodon, 500 characters for a URL is more than enough imo.

@amolith no, but on mobile, if you are trying to type it in (which happens more often than you'd think...) boy is it frustrating.

That said: there are so many issues with them, from the tracking to the hijacking to "and exactly WHAT is going on here?"

I wrote one once, because we needed a way of keeping track of the url's posted to various rss feeds, and keeping them within an irc bot, and well, it just was an efficient way of counting clicks the bot used.

This was pre-mobile, and having done one, I recognize just exactly how much of a problem it is overall.

@amolith
As anti spam company, we are pretty harsh on shorteners. They are mostly used to hide the payload. Use them on email at your own expense

@amolith makes it easier to fix if destination changes, just shift in shortener and no need to change every post I’ve made referring to a deprecated url #linkrot

@kidwellj I think that's only happened to me twice and, when it did, I just ran a command with some regex to change every instance of the old URL to the new - not a big deal at all.

@amolith I use URL shorteners to create a typable URLs for when I am at a computer or phone which is not mine. Like when I am at uni and quickly need to open a website or online presentation at the presentation computer.

@witziege In those situations, I typically open an incognito/private window, log in, present, close the window, and I'm done. In most instances, I just use my laptop and plug the HDMI cord in

@amolith 1) what if computer is infected with keyboard spy? 2) what if there is no hdmi, only vga? USB drive is not an option too: either its get infected, or there is no working USB

Sometimes url shortener is used for advertising, content creator can receive some ad revenue. Sometimes used for obfuscation, to fool some automated government tools

In my country

@amolith The character limit thing is the primary reason. And there's really no reason to have character limits anyway, something @eugen@mastodon.social could benefit from taking to heart.

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