Facebook URL in print?
September 29, 2014 5:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm helping publicize an event via Facebook and print fliers. I would love to be able to include a URL for the Facebook event on the fliers, but the one that Facebook provides is a long string of nonsense.

Is there a (free, easy) way to create a URL that's easy to type that leads to the event page? Alternatively, another fail-proof way to find our event via print instructions?

The event itself has a rather nondescript name, so merely asking people to search the event wouldn't be very useful. The event is hosted by an easy-to-find Facebook page, but once on the page, it may be hard to find the event.

I can't believe no one has wanted to do this before, but Google searches are giving me nothing.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta to Technology (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're looking for link shorteners. bit.ly is probably the most famous one, google's (goo.gl) is also trustworthy. There are also a bunch more.

These just set up redirects to whatever URL you put in. They're super simple to set up and use.
posted by brainmouse at 5:51 PM on September 29, 2014

Why not use one of the URL Shorteners?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:52 PM on September 29, 2014

Response by poster: Link shorteners are sort of what I'm looking for.... except the URL is still a string of nonsense, and it isn't recognizable as a Facebook page.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 5:54 PM on September 29, 2014

Best answer: is.gd lets you specify what the shortened URL will say, e.g.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:00 PM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: With Bitly, you are allowed to choose the URL. So it will be bit.ly/FacebookEvent. TinyURL lets you create a custom one too. I've never heard of is.gd -- you'll want to choose one people will remember, probably.
posted by AppleTurnover at 6:21 PM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You could also use a qr code. Then people just point their phones at it and off they go
posted by colin_l at 7:03 PM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: ah HA colin_l, that was the solution that was escaping me.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 8:00 PM on September 29, 2014

I would certainly use another option in addition to a QR code. Anecdata suggests the number of times one uses QR codes is... minimal.
posted by papayaninja at 8:09 PM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Okay, I've got a tinyURL address and a QR code (you're right, papayaninja). Thanks everyone!
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 8:13 PM on September 29, 2014

To be honest I wouldn't bother with a QR code as very few people actually use them.

In fact iOS out of the box can't read them unless you download a specific app. You'd have to be a dedicated soul to actually do that.

I'm not completely sure about Android but the last two Android phones I've had haven't supported them (without the help of an additional app) either.
posted by mr_silver at 3:29 AM on September 30, 2014

I have never seen anyone ever use a QR code.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:39 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by mr_silver at 5:31 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

My vote for a QR code. I love QR codes, and use them everywhere all the time. All the friends I know use them regularly too in my university.

I guess it depends on the setting. Just because a few folks are against QR codes on Metafilter here doesn't necessarily mean it is useless.

Also, I agree with your original comment that a shortened URL is not immediately apparent as to what it points to, irrespective of how close you might get it. From my experience, QR codes generate a little bit more "trust". In other words, I have seen people look at shortened URLs with suspicion for fear for the original URL pointing to some malware or trojan, but somehow the feeling is that if the owner has gone to the extent of creating a QR code for his URL, chances are it probably isn't an unsafe link.

(Again, I am referring to the kind of people I hang out with. ... your mileage might vary)
posted by the_hard_truth at 9:54 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

By the way, you can make most Facebook URLs shorter by using "fb.me" in place of "facebook.com" in the URL. Sometimes it's enough.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:01 PM on September 30, 2014

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