How to shorten a URL for Twitter Newbies

When you new to Twitter, there are so many things that are confusing.  One of them is all the short links.

Why use short URLs on Twitter?

  • You are limited to 140 characters or less and a full length URL of a website might take up most of the 140 characters.
  • You are limited to 140 characters so you might want elaborate in more detail on your blog
  • You might want to share an article, a video or photo with your Twitter followers

How do you shorten a web address?

You are in luck, Twitter has become simpler to use so all you have to do is…

Copy and paste the full URL of the website into Twitter and..

Twitter will automatically shorten it for you. Simple really!

It will use up 20 characters of your 140.

Caution:  If you are typing the web address into Twitter make sure to add the http:// otherwise, it won’t work!!

to shorten a link visit a site like and paste the full length web
address, click on the shorten button.  A shortened URL will be created, all you have to do is click on the shortened URL and it will automatically copy the link so that you can paste it in Twitter.

Why would you want use a site like

  • The link allows you to analyse and track how many people have clicked on a particular link and when.

If you are new to Twitter, let me know by leaving a comment below.  You are also very welcome to follow me on Twitter and I will follow you back if you send me a tweet.


Nicky Kriel

Nicky Kriel

Nicky Kriel is a Social Media Coach & Trainer inspiring, educating and empowering Business Owners to use Social Media more strategically. She is also the author of How to Twitter for Business Success. For more information visit or to find out about her courses that she runs in Guildford visit

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28 thoughts on “How to shorten a URL for Twitter Newbies

    • Thank you for your tip, Aaron.

      I recommend bitly because of the analytics that you get with the site, but it is always good to hear about other sites.


  1. Hi Nicky, Thank you so much for the information on bitly. I’m a newbie on Twitter and have been wondering how that was done. Question: When I shorten links from Facebook they will work when I repaste them as tests on the Internet, but I use them on my mobile ap for Twitter it only opens up to the Facebook sign-in page and then only opens my personal FB page instead of the one the link should direct to. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated?

    • Hi Shanna

      Have you downloaded the Facebook app for your phone? People need to be signed into Facebook to see Facebook links. I am not sure what you are trying to do.


  2. Nicky,

    Brand new Twitter user. Fabulous info, thank you. May have quite a few more questions for you as we grow our recently launched website, :)

  3. Hi Nicky
    My URLs don’t seem to shorten automatically. Is that because the shortened version only appears to followers? I’m including the http bit.
    Thanks a lot.

      • I’m not the original poster, but I noticed the same thing. Can I assume that if the entire post uses 140 characters or less, including the original url–not shortened–than Twitter will leave the url as is and not shortened it?

  4. Just What I Wanted to Know!!
    Thanks and you are right Nicky!! Sharing is CARING!!
    Have a stellar day and again thanks for making things nice and simple!!

    • Hi Zsev,
      Your tweet didn’t have a link in it. The one you replied to had a link that was shortened. The https will take up one extra character than a http address. When you add the link you can see how many characters it takes up by how many characters you have left.


  5. Looks like you are going to be a great help to me amongst many others. I am learning to tweet only because we are campaigning against terrible actions of our local council. Hope you will help spread our message by retweeting me.
    BarbaraJ @BJ_baps (as you see, I’m still not sure how to sign off!)

  6. Hi Nicky,
    I am new to twitter. Could u please tell me more about how we can use links to analyse and track how many people have clicked on a particular link.
    Thank you,

  7. Hi Nicky,
    Thank you so much for the tips, I have been using twitter for some time now, but I didn’t think it was necessary to shorten my tweets url because I choose my title in such a way they don’t get too long.
    Thanks for the tips again.