Tweet Embedding Correction

My previous post on Twitter's new Tweet embedding feature contained an error that was pointed out to me by a correspondent.

I claimed that one of the drawbacks to the way Twitter was implementing Tweet embedding is that for the feature to function, you must include the full URL of the Tweet you want to embed in the new Tweet. As I wrote:
To get the embedding to function as demonstrated above, you must include the full URL of the original Tweet in the new Tweet....the full URL is extremely long. In my example it takes up 57 characters of the 140 allowed...
That was incorrect.

In fact, Twitter automatically shortens the URL, so that it is not the full character count of the URL that counts against the 140-character limit for each Tweet.

However, the character count for the URL is still not as short as a typical URL shortener.

Here were the results of playing with the functionality:

Again, I used the same Tweet for the embedding:

Original Tweet

That Tweet is available at: https://twitter.com/PhillyCooke/status/496670428187090944

The full URL is 57-characters long.

However, I can add it to a Tweet that only appears to have 24 characters remaining (i.e., the rest of the Tweet is actually 116-characters long).

New Tweet Prior to Adding the URL

Note that I'm able to comfortably insert the 57-character URL into the Tweet, and the "Tweet" button is still functioning, with an available character count of 0.

Tweet with Full URL

Also note that the Tweet URL took up 23 characters because I had to include a space between the last word "how" and the URL. Otherwise, Twitter doesn't acknowledge the URL as being an embedded Tweet and simply prevents me from sending out the Tweet.

Tweet without Space Showing It Is Too Long
In this case, you can see that the URL isn't recognized as such by Twitter. Consequently, the character count shows up as -33, and the "Tweet" button is grayed out showing that it is inactive.

All of the above screen shots were taken from Twitter.com on a Macbook Air using Chrome.

I also checked how this functionality worked on HootSuite, which I have previously mentioned is my preferred means of accessing Twitter on my laptop. And the same shortening behavior happened.

Tweet on Hootsuite Prior to Sending

Of course, the 23 characters required by Twitter's URL shortening of its own URL is still greater than the 11 characters that I was able to get using Ow.ly, but rather than being a saving of 46 characters, as I claimed in the original post, it is a mere 12 characters that are saved.

Even so, 12 characters does constitute nearly 10% of a Tweet's 140 total characters. Such a savings is not to be ignored lightly.

Thanks to the correspondent who told me about the error, and let me know via email and/or comments if you have any other ideas for saving characters or learning more about how Twitter's embedding functionality works.

No comments:

Post a Comment