I don’t worry too much when I’m planning on adding a new feature to WP to Twitter – most people won’t notice, many won’t care, those who find it useful will be happy about it. But right now I’m thinking about removing a feature, and that is a much more sensitive issue.
Specifically, I want to remove support for URL (Uniform Resource Locator) shortening.
The main argument for keeping URL shortener support is to provide short URL statistics: using a tool like Bit.ly, you can track the clickthroughs on the specific short URL sent to Twitter. However, this can now be done using Google Analytics, which also gives those with an analytical interest the ability to look at their statistics in just one environment.
Shortening URLs to send to Twitter used to be very important — but with the introduction of Twitter’s t.co URL shortening, which is mandatory on all URLs, it’s become really fairly irrelevant. (Yes, it’s mandatory — you may see a different URL, but when you click on the link, you actually go to the t.co shortlink first.)
So I’m looking for users of WP to Twitter to let me know how they feel about URL shorteners. I know how at at least one person feels, and I’m inclined to agree – although Bit.ly works for most people, it fails for almost as many.
One consideration is that I would release an add-on plug-in that would provide URL shortening options in WP to Twitter – if you really want it, you can have it. But I very much want to remove it from the main plug-in.
Your comments are very much appreciated.