Chrome 64 For Android Automatically Shortens Messy URLs Via Share Menu


Sharing links on mobile devices can be a pain in the backside. It's not overly difficult, mind you, but in some cases the URL you are trying to share is stupid long. You then have a choice—share it anyway and clutter up your chat message (or email), or take the extra step of using an URL shortener before sharing it out. There is a third option. Beginning with Chrome 64 on Android devices, the browser will automatically trim all of the extra cruft from annoyingly long links.

When dealing with an extra long link, usually it's only the beginning section that you need. Everything that comes after is expendable, such as search queries and whatever else might have been tacked on by the time you arrived at your online destination. It is all of that extra stuff that Chrome 64 will remove, leaving users with a clean and succinct URL to share with others.

Chrome 64 Link
Chrome 64 on Android will automatically trim crazy long links when sharing URLs (Source: Android Police)

This is especially annoying when shopping online. What should be a short and simple URL can morph into several lines of texts, depending on how exactly you found the product you are looking to share. More than just an eyesore, long URLs can sometimes be broken when pasting into a chat message.

One seemingly potential downside is that if you are sharing a link with referral information, cutting off the extra bits could sacrifice the referral code, causing websites not to get a kickback. Buying products through a referral link is one way to show support of a website, especially in this day and age of ad blocking. However, Chrome's URL shortening retains that information.

To use the new feature, you first need Chrome 64 installed on your Android device (it is not yet available for iOS, but we expect it will be soon). When you encounter a long link (or any URL, really), click on the Chrome menu designated by three vertical dots in the upper-right corner and select the Share option. If for some reason you want to maintain the entire URL as it is displayed, you can still copy it directly from the URL bar, too.

One thing to note is that even though the Share feature retains referral information, it doesn't keep anchor tags. Where that can come into play is if you are trying to share a link to a specific section of a webpage. As currently implemented, using the Share feature will always route recipients to the top of the page.