Why link shorteners hurt the user experience and destroy the Web

I cannot stand link shorteners. They are borne out of a completely arbitrary limit, created because we are unable to comprehend brevity. Nowadays, many websites nest link shorteners in each other, for the purposes of tracking. This adds delays and more possible weak links, sabotaging the web’s ability to act as a research source in the future.

The solution: Think twice before clicking on a shortened link, thus depriving the link of traffic. Alternatively, use a browser extension that unshortens the link for you and replaces the original link (there are plenty available for major browsers). If you’re on Android, I’ve used Crappalinks and it works fine.

“They use a URL shortener to track trafic and « engagement » to their content: how much clicks were generated from Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin… without an access to the site’s Google analytics. That’s because figures are more important than people who read their content. In other words: spam.

They use a custom URL shortener with their own domain because that’s what people see on Twitter so they can build their brand. They don’t really care about people actually reading what they tweet as long as they spread the love. In other words: spam”

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