How Twitter Could Make Bloggers Happy with One Tiny Tweak

In: design| ideas

15 Jul 2009

A great way to get your message out there and promote yourself, Twitter has undoubtedly become a big part of online marketing mix. Along with websites and blogs, having a Twitter profile is now a crucial step towards maintaining a successful web presence.

Bloggers especially have been attracted to the service, having arguably helped contribute to the company’s current success. The site is a great way to share bite-sized chunks of wisdom with others, helping to drive readers to your full-sized blog for insights longer than 140 characters.

An important piece of building awareness and driving traffic through Twitter is the information contained in your profile sidebar. This is where you can tell others who you are and why you are worth listening to. And there is a place to link back to your website. That link is the reason for this post.

The line containing your website URL currently has what seems to be a character limit of 25 characters. Unfortunately, that includes the label Web along with a full URL starting with http://www, which leaves a measly 6 characters for your website name after the ellipse is added.

As an example, let’s look at the profile of blogger and Four Hour Workweek author Tim Ferriss:

This profile tells people a little bit about Tim and what they can expect from him. It also links to the website promoting his book. However, the way Twitter displays the link, all we are shown is fourho, which (while mildly amusing) doesn’t really explain much. As many bloggers use Twitter to promote themselves and their blog, it would be nice to display more of or all of the domain name and drop the unneccessary extra characters. Even if the entire domain name still wouldn’t fit, 25 characters would be a lot more useful than the current six.

Here is how Tim’s profile could look with this minor change:


That’s a huge improvement. This way, readers can actually see the name of the website, letting bloggers better promote their site to potential readers. And from a usability perspective, this is still just as effective. The label and http portion don’t communicate any functionality that isn’t shown in the second example.

I see little reason for Twitter not to make a change like this. For a service based on making every letter and character count, it is surprising to see such poor efficiency. And it would make every Twitter user who has a related website happier, especially bloggers and marketers.

So, Twitter, are you listening?

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Mark Webster

About Mark Webster

One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.