Twitter Tuesday: Url shortening

19.06.2012 - 16:21 · 2 min read

There Can Be Only One

Last week I wrote about sharing links on Twitter and therefore I felt it appropriate to write about url (link) shortening this week. Because of the 140 characters length restriction url shortening is often needed in order to fit the link in a Tweet. These days Twitter automatically shortens urls in Tweets with their own t.co shortening system. It seems to be a decent system, yet not the only one available.

Of course you can always build your own url shortening service with your own domain and all. But if that's not your thing, there are plenty of existing services to go for.

Some of the services provide more features than just the shortening. Ow.ly for instance provides also file/image sharing. Google's service goo.gl and notlong.com give click statistics for the shortened urls.

Many of the shortening services, such as the cute moourl also have a way to shorten urls straight through your browser's bookmarks. Some, such as the good old TinyURL allows to choose your own custom alias (such as http://tinyurl.com/tasselflower).

I usually use bitly, which has lots of different features. The new version of bitly site is somewhat messy and confusing. The reason for using bitly is it brings together loads of different features. It has statistics, browser integration, custom aliases and even possibility of using a custom url for shortening.

The "bitmarks" as bitly calls their shortened links can be collected to bundles, such as this one. Additionally it provides way to track statistics of all the bitmarks pointing to your domain. Many different Twitter apps, such as Tweetbot give a possibility to use bitly as the default url shortening service.

Again I must say this: Especially after they redesigned the service, bitly isn't perfect. But it's quite flexible and provides loads of interesting stuff. Oh and of course you can use it for shortening the links for other usage than Tweets as well.

Photo by Ian Sane under Creative Commons license.

Suomeksi (In Finnish): 

Viime viikolla kirjoitin linkkien jakamisesta Twitterissä, joten päätin, että tällä viikolla voisin käsitellä linkkien osoitteiden lyhentämistä. Twitterillä on oma sisäänrakennettu t.co-lyhennysjärjestelmä linkeille, mutta verkko on pullollaan muitakin vaihtoehtoja. Nämä eri vaihtoehdot tarjoavat erilaisia lisäpalveluita, kuten tiedostojen jakamista tai statistiikkoja. Käytä itse yleensä bitly-nimistä palvelua, josta löytyy statistiikkojen lisäksi paljon muita kivoja lisäkilkkeitä. Yllä käyn läpi niistä muutamia.

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Mervi's picture

I'm Mervi Emilia Eskelinen, an artist and business consultant and coach from Finland. I help indie businesses, freelancers and bloggers to find focus with their branding, marketing and web. I have almost 20 years of experience and a bachelor's degree in everything about digital media and marketing.