Shorter links are more memorable

Shorter links are more memorable


In 2014 Twitter started to limit the length of a link.

It was originally set at 20, but has since been reduced to 17.

This limits authors from sharing links over 140 characters. 

However, shorter links are more memorable than longer ones because they contain fewer characters and words that can be interpreted in different ways.


The shorter the link is, the less ambiguity it has.

One study found users were 25% more likely to tweet a 16-character shortened URL than a link with 40 characters.

A study of over 3 million tweets published on Product Hunt found URLs averaged 23 characters in length, whereas Shorter URLs averaged 14 characters. The shorter the length, the more likely a post was to get retweeted.

In contrast, Twitter posts with long URLs have been shown to be half as likely to be retweeted.

Even if longer links get clicked on more often, they are not shared by others as much due to their lack of memorability and ambiguity.

Beyond social media, short URLs are great for SEO.

They help with indexing and crawling by search engines like Google by including more keywords in the URL that can be used to identify what content is about.

Shortened links are also less likely to be missed.

Long URLs contain 300% more characters than shortened ones, making them harder to scan and missing links people might want to click on.


Longer links also require extra time and effort to enter, meaning that they lose out to short URLs in terms of task completion speed.

People share shortened links because they are more memorable than long ones, which makes them easier for users and search engines alike to track and index.


This article was published on May 13, 2016 by the Harvard Business Review. The original article can be found here . A link to this version is located in the references section under "Article background information." This article was written by Janelle Liberkowski, with contributions from Michelle Garrett and Melissa Wu.

Copy editing was done by Janelle Liberkowski.

Supervising editor for this article was Lauren Becker, project lead for the HBR Idea Collection.


Background information from this article will not be copied verbatim into a school paper or assignment because it is not relevant to that work and copying any part of an article without citing a source is plagiarism .

However, background information can be used as a knowledge resource and cited accordingly. This could look like: "Shorter links are more memorable" (


Sources: -----------ResearchGate is an online research-sharing platform where you can discover and read articles from the world's best researchers. Researchers can share their discoveries with other members and get their work in front of thousands of people.


To cite an article from researchgate, include the following: author name(s), article title, publication name, publication date, URL/DOI , and publisher (if not listed on the original website).


In-text citations require the author's last name and a page or paragraph number in parentheses. For example: (Markus, 2014).


References should appear after a complete sentence or a "Best Practice" statement in the conclusion. They should be listed in alphabetical order by the first letter of the authors' last names. If there are multiple authors with the same last name, include their initials. Use "et al." if there are additional authors.


***When creating a Works Cited page (where sources are listed alphabetically), this is not necessary as long as all information present in the body paper is also included on the Works Cited page . If you would like to include the shortened URL, not only does it provide good source information but it also helps you avoid breaking one of the rules of MLA style: 

"Citations in the text should list complete information - author name(s), title, etc. - for each item cited. For books or other works consulted online using a direct link rather than a web address, include the information required for print sources. No punctuation mark is necessary after an URL."

Do not break this rule by adding a period at the end of a shortened link. Do not use more than one link in a sentence unless you have to because you have run out of text. If that happens, then you can only use one. If you must do it, place the first link at the beginning of a sentence and second link after a comma or other punctuation mark: 

I visited the Paper Store's website, and it gave me an idea for an essay I am writing this weekend.


Do not use URLs as part of your title; however, they may be included in text: 

  "Title goes here." Accessed 21 October 2014.</br>

Note: Although the MLA Handbook does not state that URLs cannot be included as part of your title, either don't use them or include them within parentheses because including them outside of parentheses may cause formatting problems such as breaking words at the end of a line.

If you are including more than one link in your paper, do not list all of them at the end in one long sentence. Separate each item by using semicolons or commas: 

I recommend reading my sources on the Works Cited page, here:

Useful Resources; How to Make Shorter Links?

Sources Used for this Article Top Ten Best Practices Guide

The Paper Store ACME Printing and Graphics ( Scribendi (

Do not use colons to separate a URL from surrounding text or break words with

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