How To Stop Twitter Auto Linking URLs

Whenever you send a Tweet with a URL, Twitter automatically replaces the URL with a "" link. This means that long links only count for 23 characters against Twitter's 140 character limit.

Mostly, that's great - but sometimes it's not. Inspired by this StackOverflow question, I decided to see if it was possible to write a URL in such a way that Twitter wouldn't auto-link it.

Here's what I found

Five years ago (!) I wrote a long and geeky post about how Twitter Hashtags worked.

There are two different hash symbols! There's the # we all know and love, and there's #. Looks pretty similar, but in fact it's the unicode symbol U+FF03

Unicode contains lots of visually similar but semantically separate characters.

The traditional full-stop / period looks like this: .

Other visually similar characters are

By using these characters, we can create something that looks like a URL, but doesn't autolink.

Of course, if a user tries to copy & paste it into their browser, it won't go anywhere.

You can also use "∶" the ratio symbol as part of the http∶//

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