How to send links via direct message in Twitter now they’re banned
A couple of handy hacks for getting round the ban
I use Twitter all the time. I use it more than, and as a replacement for, email.
I’m always sending links to people via direct message. Well, until the recent change that stopped you from being able to do so.
Services that rely on direct messaging links are suffering, particularly Hire My Friend, which relies on private link-sharing.
So, how do you get around the limitation of not being able to share links via DM, without having to resort to email? Here are three hacks:
Use a triple slash
Change the url from, say http://makeshift.io to http:///makeshift.io so that there are now three slashes. The recipient will have to copy and paste the URL into a browser, but the good news is that most browsers are smart enough to interpret the intentional mistake and will work out the correct URL.
Drop the HTTP altogether
You can still share links if you omit “http://”, so the recipient can copy and paste the link. The downside is that on a lot of clients, such as the iPhone, you can’t copy and paste very easily. Ideally you want people to still click the link…
Use a white-listed redirect
Some services are white-listed for link-sharing via DM—the big brands, big news sites and so on. Some, like Youtube offer a redirect service. So change the URL you want to share from http://linkydink.io to http://youtube.com/redirect?q=linkydink.io
The recipient can click that link, and will be taken to a page on Youtube containing the actual link. Ugly, possibly a little confusing, but at least you can click the link on mobile.
Let’s hope Twitter fixes this soon. I don’t want to have to invent a person-to-person link sharing app! Or do I… If you’ve got any other hacks around this, tell me on Twitter. I’m @stef.