Posted by: tonygurney | October 18, 2012

The War For the Web – O’Reilly Radar #yam

On Friday, my latest tweet was automatically posted to my Facebook news feed, as always. But this time, Tom Scoville noticed a difference: the link in the posting was no longer active.

It turns out that a lot of other people had noticed this too. Mashable wrote about the problem on Saturday morning: Facebook Unlinks Your Twitter Links.

if you???re posting web links (Bit.ly, TinyURL) to your Twitter feed and using the Twitter Facebook app to share those updates on Facebook too, none of those links are hyperlinked. Your friends will need to copy and paste the links into a browser to make them work.

If this is a design decision on Facebook???s part, it???s an extremely odd one: we???d like to think it???s an inconvenient bug, and we have a mail in to Facebook to check. Suffice to say, the issue is site-wide: it???s not just you.

As it turns out, it wasn???t just links imported from Twitter. All outbound links were temporarily disabled, unless users explicitly added them as links via an ???attach??? dialogue. I went to Facebook, and tried posting a link to this blog directly in my status feed, and saw the same behavior: links were no longer automatically made clickable. You can see that in the image that is the destination of the first link in this piece.

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