Does Twitter Mean The End Of TinyUrl.com?

Face it, folks... the 140 character limit that Twitter imposes really starts to hurt when you try to pass around URLs. Previously, most folks used tinyurl.com to make their URLs short and sweet... but lately, some Twits have determined that even tiny URLs waste precious character space, and have been demanding even tinier URLs. I mean, look at this link to my site:

http://tinyurl.com/bonkw4

Twenty five characters. What a bit pig... although I love the hidden message bonk w4... especially now that it's tax season.

As a result, many Twits have decided to go for a system that makes even shorter URLs. Here are a few URL shortening sites I've found laying about:

  • bit.ly: Using this, the link to my home page is now compressed to: http://bit.ly/Vh0e3. Wow! That's saving six whole letters! Just enough to throw in one last ROTFL into your tweet...
  • is.gd: not to be outdone... 'Is Good' shaves off eight whole characters, making it http://is.gd/ndwf.
  • tinyarro.ws: UNGODLY short URLs! Check out http://➡.ws/웕. This makes links twelve characters shorter than tinyurl.com, making it easily the tiniest URL I've ever seen! Hot damn! Its using some nifty tricks with UTF8 encoded URLs, the arrow symbol, and what I believe to be the Chinese symbol for "awesome." Its all technically valid in a URL, but it won't work on all screens, all web pages, nor all programs.

There are many more URL shorteners available... if you really insist on being original. Personally, I think is.gd will probably muscle out tinyurls.com, at least amongst the Twitter crowd... and tinyarro.ws might cause more than a few folks to argue about the practical limitations of encoded URLs, especially where security and phishing are concerns...

There is another possibility... sites may begin making their own tiny urls. Imagine if CNN they did their own tiny urls, so you only had to send something like cnn.com/t/123. Just ignore the http:// prefix, since many apps these days know if a string something has .com and a few slashes, its probably a link... so they just slap on the implied http:// prefix automatically.

So what do you think? Will Twitter kill tinyurls.com? Will web sites start offering pre-made tiny URLs? Which URL shortener do you use?

URL shorteners

All about is.gd myself - it's plenty short enough. If you can't get the rest of it out in 123 characters, I don't think saving an extra 2-3 using a not-terribly-forwardable tinyarro.ws URL is gonna help.

jessewilkins

bacn.me

Don't forget bacn.me for bacon lovers. Described here.

bit.ly is my favorite these

bit.ly is my favorite these days because of the live tracking of clicks. Impressive stuff.

Interesting thought

I do think you point about sites whose tld is already short may benefit from offering their own service for internal URLs. One of my complaints about tiny url and many others is that you have no clue where you are going until you get there. On twitter of course that is less of a problem, until you account (or your friend's) get's hijacked. At least with domain locked urls, that would be less of a problem.

I don't think twitter will kill tinyurls. In the end, tinyurls is much more recognizable and friendly for the less hardcore. Is your grandpa more likely to click http://is.gd/ndwf or http://tinyurl.com/ndwf? Heck, I'm not sure if I'd click http://➡.ws/웕!

Twurl.cc

I like twurl.cc as it has basic tracking as well as uses OpenID for registration. (like Foolstr.com)

What I haven't seen is a way to link a Blog post to a URL shortener then to Twitter, to Facebook and finally Twine.

I've seen bits of this chain but no one end-to-end solution.

-fs

bit.ly is good

bit.ly is good

epayroll

So what do you think? Will Twitter kill tinyurls.com? Will web sites start offering pre-made tiny URLs? Which URL shortener do you use?

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