This morning I updated Tweetdeck and one of the new features is the incorporation of a service called deck.ly. This allows you to tweet more than 140 characters. Type in your tweet in Tweetdeck and as soon as you go over the limit of 140 the background in your tweet box turns yellow (this may vary depending on whether or not you have customised your colours). Next to the Send button you’ll also see a new button “Long update using deck.ly”. Tweetdeck users will see the full text of the extended tweet but others will have to click on a link. A debate has already started around this new option and I am not going to repeat the arguments here. I am more concerned about what has happened to auto URL shortening.
After the update I wrote a tweet and then added a URL that took my tweet over the 140 character limit. The background turned yellow and I waited for the URL to be shortened. It wasn’t. I had to click on the link to shorten it. I mentioned this on Twitter and, at the time of writing, no-one else seems to be having the same problem. So I decided to run some test tweets and this is what I am seeing.
1. Tweet including URL within 140 character limit
The URL is automatically shortened
2. Tweet including URL over 140 characters
The URL is not shortened and there is the new option to send via Deck.ly
Auto URL Shortening is turned ON but nothing happens. I sit and wait and nothing happens. I turn URL shortening off and then back on again – still nothing happens. I have to click on the link to shorten it:
I hope that this a bug and not some attempt by Tweetdeck to force us to use Deck.ly. I have experimented several times over the last couple of hours with different tweets and see the same results every time. No-one else in my network seems to be having the same problem, though, which is making me feel a little paranoid. If you have updated to the latest version of Tweetdeck I’d be interested to hear whether or not your experiences are the same as mine.
Further background information: I ran these tests using Tweetdeck version 0.37.2 under Windows 7 professional (updated with multiple updates earlier this morning) on an HP laptop.