Standard text messages allow 160 characters, so having a very long URL in them can be wasteful. As a way to reduce the number of characters consumed by a URL many people use a "link shortener," also known as a "URL shortener" or "link abbreviator." These handy tools will reduce lengthy URLs to a shorter length, leaving more characters for your actual message.
There are two types of URL shorteners: commercial and private. Commercial link shorteners include services like Bit.ly, Owl.ly and TinyURL.com. While helpful and useful, these services are also used frequently by spammers to hide the actual link you're clicking. It's a clever and very effective way to make a fake site look like a real one. And that is why cellular carriers tend to block text messages that contain URLs created by these commercial link shorteners.
In sum, commercial link shorteners are used by spammers so much that cellular carriers will detect them in your messages and block the message.
Private link shorteners, on the other hand, offer the same benefits as commercial link shorteners without the downside of being used by spammers. Private link shorteners have to be hosted by a company that applies for them, secures an appropriate domain, takes the time to build them, etc.
TextPower has done this as a service to our customers and offers a private link shortener at no charge.
In the same way that Bit.ly links look like "bit.ly/2Gsk4C9" (a randomly assigned link) TextPower's links look like "txts.cc/2Gsk4C9" or, even better, like "txts.cc/UtilityCo-OutageMap" (a custom link). Using a custom link, which is when all characters following the "/" are defined by the user, is a great way to keep your links short and make them identifiable as legitimately leading to your website.
TextPower's link shortener allows you to create abbreviated links and even customize them, free, through our AlertManager app. After you login to AlertManager, simply click the ""Shorten URL" link in the navigation bar as shown here:
After clicking the link you'll be taken to a page that looks like this:
Choose whether you want a "Standard" link (that's the randomly assigned type) of if you want to customize yours. If you choose Standard In the field next to the blue "Shorten URL" button you simply enter the long link you want to abbreviate and click "Shorten Link' - the result will look like this:
Just click the "Copy" button and the shortened URL will copied to your clipboard.
Or, if you choose the "Custom URL" button you'll see this
You can then enter the text that you want to follow the "/" as shown in the example above. Then just click the "Custom URL" button and the link will be created. When it is, you'll see the "Copy" button appear and you can copy that custom link to your clipboard.
You can create and use these shortened links, whether in random or custom URL form, as often as you like at no charge. And, while you access this service through AlertManager, you can use the link any way you like - in an email, on a web page, in printed collateral, etc. It's yours to use however you like, courtesy of TextPower.