Did you know that you don't need to use link shorteners (, etc.) on Mastodon? All links, no matter how long, only count for 23 characters against your 500 limit!

(And since link shorteners are bad for user experience and break the web, there's almost no good reason to use 'em! 😄)

@jond is gnu social replacing links? I saw a post from @patrickbreyer with URLs rewritten as it were for tracking...

@saper @jond GNU Social does rewrite long links, but it has no tracking built in. In fact, it tries to dereference shorturls and tracking links to re-point to the eventual destination.

@jond And as a bit of trivia, it's 23 characters because that's the number of characters in the Twitter shortener.

@jond Interesting. When I first joined Mastodon the post title that introduced me to it was "A tweet pretends to be 140 characters: A toot is 500 characters" since Mastodon didn't do anything funny with links, user names, etc. Funny to see that changing. Is there a reason why?

@Canageek It avoids encouraging bad behavior: you're not penalized for posting links (esp. non-shortened links). Someone else's choice of a long URL doesn't eat up half of your message space. Etc.

It's been this way since April 2017.

(There's a similar reason that text you put in the image description field doesn't count against you. "Here, do the right thing. It won't eat into your message.")

@jond make sense, and you already can't assume how long a post will be since different instances have different length limits.

@Canageek @jond Or requirements - There is/was a Masto instance that only allows the characters "e", "E" and " " as a joke, IIRC.

@Felthry Guess how long a https link is. Basically, "we'll only count 23 chars against your post length count because, even if you used a link shortener, it won't get any* shorter than that, so be nice and use a full link."

(* okay, yes, it is possible)

@jond They're good for depicting links that are likely to be typed in, if they're going to be long otherwise.

@jond Which is annoying if you have short urls in the first place that take less space like f.e. which is only 6 chars (12 if you include the scheme).

"shortening" that to 23 chars is a bit... counterproductive?...

@jond I'm hoping this becomes standard. Link shorteners in general are a good indicator that I'm probably being shown spam.


You might want to mention this to @nextclouders

Apparently as coders they can't figure out how to post to #Twitter and #Mastodon without using Twitters link surveillance... 🤔

#privacy #nextcloud

@jond is that 23 characters per link? Or could you get a theoretically infinite number of links?

@jond what if the URL is already less than 23 characters?

curious because i have 9 domains where it's at least theoretically possible to have links shorter than that, not because i'm likely to ever find this information useful. :P

(i have,, and among others)

@jond a maximum of 23 for urls is nice. But why extending to 23 if it is shorter?

It puzzled me when I used short urls:
My counter went down as I formated my text to become a url, even I did NOT add characters.

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