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:
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?