URL shortening services

Filed Under: Tech Tips

What are URL shortening services?

URL shortening services help in shortening the length of URLs.URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator (previously Universal Resource Locator), which is actually an unique address for a web page or file that is accessible on the Internet.Long URLs may sometimes break in email or in some cases they may be hard to remember or hard to verbalize while conversing.URL shortening services helps in these circumstances to shorten the longer URLs and thereby help in passing them along.With mobiles now getting more and more widely used for data services, URL shortening services will find more usefulness, as space is always at a premium.

How many URL shortening services are there?

There are plenty of URL shortening services on the web.Most of the URL shortening services are free, but most are alike and there is nothing unique about them. Here are a few URL shortening services with some useful value-added features in place:

Doiop – that lets you choose your own page name:

Doiop lets you define your own keyword to represent a URL. Thus Doiop allows you to give some context to your short link.This is not something which many URL shortening services offer.

Go to Doiop and shorten the URLs you want to share with meaningful keywords.

TinyURL – that lets you create instant short URLs using bookmarklets:

TinyURL is the most popular URL shortening service.It provides two key features:

  • a one-click bookmarklet on your browser.This would mean you never have to visit tinyurl.com to shorten a URL
  • The preview feature that lets you know what exactly you are accessing, when you click on the preview link.This would ensure that there are no surprises on the other end of the shortened URL.

Twitter, a very popular public instant messaging service that makes use of the TinyUrl service to automatically convert any URL over about 30 characters to shorter URLs.

ReadthisURL – that lets you tag short URLs using multiple keywords:

ReadthisURL is very much like Doiop that lets you specify context to your shortened URLs with multiple keywords.

Go to ReadthisURL and shorten the URLs you want to share with meaningful combination of keywords.

MemURL – create a mnemonic link which is easy to pronounce:

MemURL.com will create a mnemonic link that is easy to pronounce but doesn’t mean anything. memURL also provides a bookmarklet feature for one click shortening without going to MemURL.com.

dwarfURL.com – Track your short URL traffic and statistics:

dwarfURL.com also provides a URL shortening system.dwarfURL.com also allows users to track statistics and traffic of these shortened URLs.dwarfURL.com is thus an excellent service to track how many people actually visited those links you send them.

NSFW – Share NSFW (Not Safe For Work) URLs:

NSFW is the latest URL shortening service for sharing NSFW (Not Safe For Work) URLs. This service lets you share URLs containing risky or mature content with ease.With NSFW service, you can save yourself from embarrassment when you get short URLs to mature content. Like other URL shortening services, NSFW service is very easy to use.Simply enter the URL that you want to share and click on “make link safer” button.When you visit this URL, instead of being directed to original weblink you will get a warning message regarding sensitivity of the URL.It will read as “Warning! The link you’re about to visit is NSFW!“.Click on “I’m OK, Take me there” button to actually visit the original URL.But do take care to ensure that you are safe at work.

Go to NSFW for sharing NSFW (Not Safe For Work) URLs.

Pitfalls of URL shortening services:

Though URL shortening services has advantages, it also has its own pitfalls.Spammers have invaded the URL shortening space and are using these services to cover their tracks.So it is always better to be cautious when clicking on the shortened URLs (links) – only click those links that comes from a trusted source.

The shortened URL usually does not contain any hints whatsoever as to the content of the URL. It’s completely opaque. The only way to find out what’s behind that hyperlink is to actually click on it. This is where tinyurl.com scores over the rest with its preview feature.

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One comment on “URL shortening services
  1. These are pretty good service, especially when giving some remote download url. Tiny url is popular one.

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