URL shorteners have really taken off in recently, largely due to Twitter’s continued growth. Although services like TinyURL have been around for years, never has there been so much demand to cut down the number of characters used in a single message.
There are literally hundreds of URL shortening tools around, but here are 11 of the most unique twists to the service.
1. How to combine multiple links into a single short URL
MultiURL is a free service which allows you to combine multiple links into one short link that you can quickly and easily share with your friends. It makes the process of sharing multiple links at once much easier and faster.
2. How to warn people that your Short URL is NSFW
Ever clicked a link and felt embarrassed with the content in front of your co-workers? Ever caught unaware because the funny link your friend sent was a little beyond funny? If for some reason you may need to send stuff like this to others, it make be good practice to use NSFW.in.
This free service gives a warning that the link may be (Not Safe For Work) NSFW. Spare your friends and colleagues the awkward moments.
3. How to shorten URLs and post to StumbleUpon at the same time
Su.Pr is StumbleUpon’s new URL shortening service which is packed with great features. Having something posted to StumbleUpon ensures it will be exposed to a good number of people within the network. What sets it apart though is it’s scheduling feature which helps you identify the optimal times to post (highest traffic potential) and schedule as many posts as you like ” then post in one-click to Twitter & Facebook.
It also has a very powerful tracking suite to view your traffic, clicks, referrers, Stumbles, and retweets stemming from your shortened URL, all in 1 place. This free service is currently in lic beta but you can follow their Twitter account for updates and and access codes to use the service.
4. How to make a URL extra long
Sick of short URLs? Buck the trend with HugeURL. This service takes a normal URL and turns it into an extremely long URL (which works perfectly fine). No, there’s no good reason I can think of for this except maybe to freak people out or perhaps to win a bet on who can come up with the longest URL for a web page – but it’s all in good fun :)
5. How to quickly snip URLs on Windows Mobile
ceSnipURL is a little Windows Mobile utility which allows you to shorten URL’s to make them more friendly for use in twitter and sms messages or mobile email. Rather than go through a more cumbersome web based short URL service on your mobile, this app makes for a much snappier way to get the job done.
6. How to shorten URLs and give extra assurance of safety
Shuurl goes the extra mile in giving viewers of your short URL assurance of safety. Not only does it tell you where the shortened URL points to, it provides a thumbnail preview of actual link and a safety rating from the ˜Web Of Trust’ so you know what site you’re about to visit is definitely safe.
7. How to track other people’s Short URL stats
More than a one-off URL shortening tool, bit.ly is a fully fledged service which helps you track and understand how widespread links become and how many clickthroughs were obtained, and their conversations on Twitter and Friendfeed. Stats are not limited to your own links, and you can check any URL out there. All this and the fact that you’re able to shorten and post directly to Facebook and Twitter makes this one heck of a powerful tool.
8. How to track online marketing campaigns through short URLs
Unlike bit.ly where all the stats are public, Cli.gs stats are private and incredibly comprehensive.
Cli.gs also tracks in real time of who tweets your link, who shares it on Friendfeed, who links to it, who blogs about it, who writes a blog comment about it, and more. Not just that, Cligs does that for the destination URL too! All in one handy interface. Finally, it allows you to share different links on different services like Twitter, Facebook, and email and track the traffic and watch it spread across services.
9. How to setup your own URL TinyURL Like Redirection Service in 2 Minutes
The only problem with URL shortening services is that most of them don’t have a solid business model yet so if they decide to shut shop in future, all your existing short links will become broken or point to non-existent 404 pages.
To prevent yourself from running into such a situation, you can consider setting up your own URL shortening service that will run on your own domain (or web server) and the short URLs will therefore resolve throughout the lifespan of your site. If you’re interested, check out the tutorial here.
10. How to get a really,really short URL
Tinyarro.ws is a free service which uses unicode and thus makes it possible for them to have many more combinations of characters, and hence make the shortest ever tiny URLs.
11. How to find out where your short URL points to
˜Long URL Please’ doesn’t really shorten your URLs. In fact, it does pretty much the opposite. It shows you the original URL of any shortened URL on your screen so you can reduce uncertainty when clicking on links you’re not sure about. This is really a good safety tool especially before visiting shortened links from an unknown source.
It works with most of the most popular URL shorteners (72 of them at last count), and is available both as a firefox extension and as a bookmarklet.