Even if you haven’t heard, you should have felt it: yesterday was this year’s shortest day. It was also the day YouTube links got shorter. So, don’t be scared next time when you see a link starting with “youtu.be” – it will get you a YouTube video. At first you might not realize how useful that change indeed is. But think twice: as of yesterday you’re able to share any YouTube videos using much less characters. And that’s quite an advantage to you twitters.
To give the shortened YouTube links a try you can opt between modifying the link manually right before you post it and the AutoShare feature which helps you automatically share your YouTube Activity Feed to diverse social network services (such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader). Once you add a video to your favorites, for example, your friends can get the new shorter URL to it automatically.
Manual link modification happens by replacing everything but the video ID (including the “http://www.” part) with “http://youtu.be/”. So, if you want to share with your friends our BlackBerry Storm2 9520 unboxing video, remove “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=” from the full URL “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfQ0K_AXq3w” and add “http://youtu.be/” instead.