You don't need to use link shorteners on Mastodon. All links count as 23 characters no matter how long they really are.

Also, links on Mastodon stay in the form you wrote them. This is much better for privacy than Twitter.

Twitter quietly changes all posted links to go via Twitter's domain so they can track people. This doesn't happen on Mastodon or the Fediverse.

You can see this hidden conversion in Twitter by hovering your mouse over a link there, the link appears to show a normal address but Firefox and other browsers will indicate the true address in the bottom left corner of the screen. If you try this same check on Mastodon or the Fediverse, you will see your links stay just as you wrote them.

You don't need to use link shorteners on Mastodon. All links count as 23 characters no matter how long they really are.

Can you please elaborate on this? Not sure I understood it.
Understood. Thanks for the clarification.


Finally a use case for Clippy!

It looks like you're pasting an obscured bitly link. Are you sure you want to do that? :clippy:

@float13 @feditips are you sure the reason they do that is to track people

twitter's original limits were based around SMS messages. you literally couldn't just send more (the carriers didn't allow it.)

@icedquinn @float13

Good point, maybe it was originally?

But Twitter is no longer SMS based so forcing people to use their shortener shouldn't be necessary any more. Twitter nowadays say is still compulsory and they use to "measure information"...

Which makes sense.

Remember, Twitter is now traded on the stock market.

Which means they need to generate revenue.

Through advertisement.

Marketeers want to know their return on investment.

Plus, influencer run numbers game.

There's a whole industry around it!
@icedquinn @float13

@RyunoKi @feditips @icedquinn @float13 Twitter's stock shares are down, at this rate they'll be more like penny stocks then anything else. Along with that Meta is also shrinking in stock prices. Now, for all of the privacy invasiveness folks are slowly seeing what they are. It's a to big to fail thing and now they'll be looking at breaking down different aspects of the market place, messenger, and other services. For all the ad and revenue marketing it doesn't look like they'll make it up any time soon.

@sk313t0n @feditips i never knew it, but this was missing from my life, thank you! ❤️

@feditips Does this mean you can null bomb the fediverse by filling a link with 10GB, or more, of null characters?

It's a bitch to.copy/paste a link on mobile though, I have to open it in a browser 'cos otherwise it only copies those 23 chars.

@feditips Well... My client counts every character in my toot, including URLs. But I still don't use link shorteners!

@shiels @feditips It's a thing like where you take a link, put it in the link shortener, and get back a small link on the shortener's site (like "" (made up)) that redirects to your link.

I don't know why people use them all the time, it makes it impossible to see the original URL AND lets the shortener service track everyone who clicks on the link.

@feditips and Aaron Swartz said that links ARE the web, so it makes sense they should not be controlled

@feditips but the target would know where we came from... I think in twitter they will not get the link to the post.

@feditips I wonder if there is any limitation to the URL length? So, when I want to write an incredible long text. I can simply make it comply to a minimal URL syntax?

@alex @feditips I’m not sure about mastadon (though id presume it’s the same), but got pleroma your link counts towards character count even if you have it minimized into hotlinked text

@alex @feditips apparently i can’t read, on mastodon they are 23 characters

@alex @feditips thing is, they will always get their hidden after the first 23 characters. you're much better off just changing the character limit on whatever instance you're posting from, because mastodon accepts any number of characters over federation (but will eventually cut them off with a 'see more' in the timelines)

@feditips Just a little bit curious, why links count as 23 characters? Does the number have any meaning, or just randomly picked by a developer?

Does anyone here know why Mastodon doesn't recognize links with IP addresses? Tried paste them few times and it didn't create links :/


No idea, sorry. Maybe you could try asking on the mastodon github if this is an important feature for you?

Not something critical, I was rather wandering about this strange behavior... Here it's the first time when I see this effect.

@feditips although not perfect, I made a JS snippet that tries to restore those links to their intended urls. probably should make a browser extension out of it 😄

Luckily, the #fediverse is still bigger as just #mastodon .. so they just can keep their weird limits for themselves. ;)

@feditips This isn't really an issue for instances that allow up to 65535 characters per toot, right?

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