Shorter, more useful links with SDRV.MS

Shorter, more useful links with SDRV.MS

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If you’re like most people, when you share files via SkyDrive you typically do so directly via email. This is one reason we built the connected address book, bringing together your friends’ addresses across Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn.  Another benefit: when you share photos via email, your friends get a beautiful email with thumbnail previews.

Back in December, we added another way to share. You can get a link to any file or folder on SkyDrive and send that link to friends. You can choose to let friends edit or add files, or choose to make the link read-only. Since then, SkyDrive users have created over 13 million links—copying and pasting them into their favorite apps or services.

While this feature has been popular, we’ve also gotten a lot of feedback that our links are too long and too ugly. We agree!

Sharing with links just got a bit friendlier:

  • We’ve shortened our regular URLs by 40%. Our previous URLs didn’t even fit inside a Tweet! Oh the shame!
  • You can shorten them even further thanks to our new partnership with bitly and the new domain for shortened SkyDrive URLs: http://sdrv.ms
  • We’ve added OpenGraph support to our URLs so that when you paste them into places like Facebook, a nice thumbnail preview gets generated

Shorter links

As you can see in the Share dialog, there is a Shorten button

Screenshot of Share dialog box showing the Shorten button

Shortening using our own custom domain

Clicking the button will result in a very short URL using the SDRV.MS domain

Screenshot of Share dialog box showing the shortened URL

Support for OpenGraph for link previews

If you copy that URL to Facebook you’ll see a nicer preview

Screenshot of Facebook preview, including file icon and sample of content

Stats on your short links

Since bitly powers the shortener, you also get great power features. For example, you can add a ‘+’ to the end of any short URL to see statistics. You can also generate a QR code for that URL by appending ’.qrcode’ to that URL.

Screenshot of bitly stats, including clicks over time, referers, locations and QR code

We hope you enjoy these changes, and thanks for using SkyDrive!

Omar Shahine
Group Program Manager, SkyDrive.com

19 Comments
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  • Oh, by the way, if you follow http://bit.ly/skyloyalty, it says "Store up to 20,00 Office docs or 7,000 photos" instead of "Store up to 20,000 Office docs or 7,000 photos". I just wanted to let you know ;)

    Keep up the good work!

  • Alfi
    5 Posts

    Great work... but WHY SkyDrive`s client have not separate sync features like Dropbox or Google Drive? Its so difficult for SD team?

  • mvadu
    8 Posts

    Greate work!! I have a question, is there any way to map (as a network drive) a shared folder to your local machine? I have my own Skydrive mounted as a drive via the Skydrive application. I also have couple of links shared by my friends, and I would like to have them mapped as drives as well, so that I need not to open them in browser. Is it possible?

  • +1 for @Ronald's suggestion.

  • Ronald
    22 Posts

    Thanks for adding the shortener.

    What I do miss is the ability to recover deleted files/folders (for a month / a week) both for files deleted on skydrive.com and in your local SkyDrive Folder on a device, either by a recovery option or by moving files to a trash folder on skydrive.com first. I know that when you accidentally delete files on skydrive.com, the SkyDrive app deletes these files on your computer (if they exist) as well, but at least puts them in your local trash. In that case, you can recover a file. Files only on skydrive.com can’t be recovered. It would be much safer when you could recover files on skydrive.com as well.

  • Kit
    23 Posts

    I think it should be the default link option instead. You have the great Skydrive.com domain, why not use it well?

  • Great work guys!! Keep it up. I am loving the new skydrive

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Great work! would be more great if you guys have used the RestFul protocol.. like SDRV.MS/LiveIDWithoutDomainName/(uuid)/EscapedFileName

    Thank you for improving Windows Live.

  • @WixosTrix unfortunatley no. You can however get a link, and then shorten it yourself using bitly.

  • Alex S
    2 Posts

    This is wonderful addition to SkyDrive file share with your friends and family.  It adds confidence to using URL shortenings because Microsoft is having official partnership in doing so.

    Thank you SkyDrive team! 

  • Now this is a change for the better! Thank you.

  • Marek
    22 Posts

    Please bring "share" function to the Windows Explorer in SkyDrive app!

  • ¡Firedog
    16 Posts

    What about the URL of the original of an image, such as you might use on a web page or in an email? Here's one of mine:just

    public.bay.livefilestore.com/.../Answers-wide-image.png

    which lots of mail clients and services will undoubtedly break. It's 156 characters long, and could be much longer. What's the maximum length of a filename?

    Suggestion: a link below /View original/ called /Original URL/ which copies a shortened URL to the clipboard where possible.

    Images like that one, a full-size screenshot of a wide screen, just don't work in the SkyDrive viewer.

  • Albert
    94 Posts

    It's very nice to see how you guys really tackled this and addressed all aspects including the friendlier visual preview. When a thorough solution is offered like this, the whole experience just feels more cohesive and complete.

  • jader3rd
    24 Posts

    But I'm not like most people. I liked SkyDrive better back in Wave 3 where new albums, pictures and comments were part of the "What's new in my Network". That way people would pick up on the updates when they checked their mail, or logged into Messenger. That's a much nicer way to share.

  • WixosTrix
    16 Posts

    This is awesome.  Bitly is my URL shortener of choice.  Is there a way for these links to be associated with my Bitly account?

  • +1 for asking Twitter to render SkyDrive links and images inline; should there be a Twitter campaign perhaps? #skydrivepixplease

  • Neat! It is about time the links got fixed. Well not really fixed but improved.

  • Great work! What about Twitter? Is it possible to have in-line pictures or is it Twitter that has to add support for it? Cheers!