Twitter Share Bookmarklets Secret Feature
I just discovered something really cool about Twitter’s Share Bookmarklet, though I’m quite sure somebody would’ve noticed this before.
Yesterday I was reading a piece on Steve Jobs, and I decided to share it on Twitter. Keep in mind that it was a paginated article (split into 2 pages). Only after sharing it did I realized I was on the 2nd page of the article when I shared it, and the URL of that page was was:
Notice the end of the URL clearly saying
pagewanted=2. However, when I checked my tweet, the URL that Twitter included had turned into:
I couldn’t believe it. I tried the Share bookmarklet on the page again, and sure enough, it was changing
all. I then decided to experiment a little bit more - and see if this feature on other websites as well.
Here’s a list of pairs of URIs - the first URI is the actual page that was shared, and the 2nd URI is the ‘converted’ version - by Twitter’s apparently smart bookmarklet.
First up: Wired and GQ - which have a URL strucuture similar to that of NYTimes - they use a query string to specify pagination:
Next, Vanity Fair uses a fragment identifier:
And finally, Playboy and The Atlantic - which actually pass the page number as the last parameter in their URL:
This seems more and more like specific use-cases added by Twitter to make their bookmarklet ‘smarter’. I’m not sure which CMSs the above sites run on, and it could be quite well be CMS-specific.
However, it did fail to do the magic on some websites:
Esquire passes the page number as a hyphenated value at the end of the URL-slug of the article.
NY Books, meanwhile, has a query string style page number, but it didn’t work.
Sports Illustrated was an interesting case. The page number is the second-last parameter in the URL, with the last parameter being
index.htm. I expected the bookmarklet to fail to work on this, and it did. It even failed when I removed the
index.htm at the end.
Any thoughts? Tweet me @hardikr !