Google Chrome Now Automatically Shortens And Cleans Up Messy URLs When You Share Them

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Google Chrome now makes long URLs much nicer to look at by automatically shortening tracking strings after a link. But while it looks less chaotic, there are some disadvantages.  ( Kimihiro Hoshino | AFP/Getty Images )

The latest update to Google Chrome, version 64, now cleans up rather messy links for sharing, making them more seemly URLs rather than winding, verbose letter and number combos that don't make sense.

Now, when a user shares an item, they'll no longer see the longer URL, since Chrome will automatically convert the long tracking link into the primary link. This occurs via the Share menu or simply copying the link and pasting it somewhere else.

Google Chrome Now Shorten URLs For You

While it truncates the extra bits of the URL, it doesn't actually affect the actual link. The recipient of the shortened URL will still be able to access the exact page shared. There's still the option to share links in full by copying them directly from the address bar.

As Android Police points out, while this seems like a really handy feature for most people, it does have a few cons. For starters, if a URL contains anchor tags, that brings a user to a specific part of a page that features, say, a long article — not so with a shortened link. That means visiting a link automatically shortened by Chrome will only bring the user to the top of the page.

That of course could be troublesome for most people who just want to share a certain part of an article or want to continue reading on another device later and don't particularly fancy scrolling through blocks of text just to resume their reading. Purely from an aesthetics standpoint, however, it does make URLs look much, much cleaner and less chaotic. Users can always copy the full link if so they choose, anyway.

Other Improvements On Chrome

Automatic URL shortening isn't the only new thing on the latest version of Chrome, either. Google has been working to make its browser more secure, less annoying, and easier to use. In both desktop and mobile versions, ads — especially annoying and grating ones — are being pulled by the built-in filter, allowing for more pleasant browsing experiences while surfing.

By default, Chrome now blocks intrusive ads, ads that autoplay, ads that take up a significant part of the page, pop-ups, redirect ads, huge sticky ads, webpages that block content with a countdown timer, and much more. Blocking all these seems like a drastic move from Google, especially when advertising is one of its biggest money makers. But it's a necessary change to improve how its user experiences the web through its browser.

Thoughts about Chrome automatically shortening URLs? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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