1) This is the Twitter equivalent of “Drop the ‘the’”
2) He’s right — but…
Twitter basically created (and now is trying to take over) an entire sub-industry (link shortening) because they didn’t plan well for this. Of course, early on, Twitter was largely based around SMS, and there is no metadata payload for SMS, so those links had to be included in the 140 characters themselves (and yes, SMS is 160 characters, but Twitter set aside 20 for usernames). Yet another reason why SMS needs to die.