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***Please read Edit beneath original article***

In the midst of a busy afternoon and evening yesterday, I didn’t have the opportunity to get a blog out about my new find on Twitter, not even a blog as short as this.

I noticed yesterday while posting a couple of stories from our website on Twitter, which Twitter no longer auto-shorten your URL’s, using bit.ly as previously used (and before that, tinyurl).

What’s significant about this?

The first benefit that came into my head was branding. Now that your link remains in tact, albeit just the first 27 characters, you can now associate your news with your website, as highlighted in the picture below.

As well as helping you with your branding, by removing bit.ly and any other URL shorteners, this prevents all of the links from breaking suddenly if these services were to go offline for any reason, and therefore every link on your Twitter account being useless. Tr.im was an example of this a couple of months ago when they shut down their service.

By using a URL shortening service you were giving over ownership of the link. Once the service goes down, there’s nothing you can do about it. Now there is no default URL shortening service on Twitter, this is good for everyone in my opinion, but for the lack of characters you have to write with now.

Tinyurl and bit.ly links continue to work, so there’s nothing to worry about there. In the future, I recommend sticking in your own domain, unless you own a URL shortening service yourself.

***Edit
Wed, 25/11/2009

I noticed today, less than a week on from writing my original article that I have misinformed you about Twitter dropping bit.ly.

I have now found out why Twitter automatically shortens your URL’s instead.

Further testing revealed that line breaks cause Twitter to shorten your URL’s. So if you’re posting a URL with no other text, your URL will be shortened down to the first 27 characters as usual. While shorter tweets or no words in your tweets allow the URL to be shown, as you can see for yourself on mine and several of people’s Twitter accounts.

Maybe in the future I will stick to link building and pay per click instead of trying to mix in with the social media world ;)