With Twitter being the main credit to its success, URL shortening is a trend that popped up recently and is probably here to stay. The earliest popular shortener that I can think of is TinyURL. Moving forward, services like bit.ly began to step in and take over. Now, major websites like Google, Facebook, and StumbleUpon use their own branded URLs for shortened links.
A newer twist that I’ve noticed emerging are URL bundles, a way to take multiple links, crunch them through this special and new kind of URL shortener, and have the service generate a single URL to represent those multiple links. It’s a situation that I’ve rarely found the need for such a service, but one that is available and should be recognized.
In this post, I’d like to introduce you to my three favorite URL bundlers.
The most visually attractive of this list, fur.ly really gets the job done in a very straightforward and painless way.
fur.ly will allow you to input multiple URLs and create an optional custom URL name for the bundle. You’ll need to enter a CAPTCHA to complete the creation process, but if you sign up for an account then you’re able to skip this part.
Bundles on fur.ly display the website, number of views, and a drop-down selection of each website in the bundle across a stylish menubar at the top of the page.
BridgeURL is one of the pioneers in this field. Where fur.ly is a little more aesthetic and pleasant on the eyes, BridgeURL is fairly plain and geared towards just getting the job done. You should create your own account with BridgeURL if you use it frequently enough.
One benefit of BridgeURL is that the field to enter your URLs in is a textarea. This means that you can create a list of URLs in Notepad, for instance, and easily paste it into this website. fur.ly separates each field, so that functionality doesn’t exist. The title of your bundle will also be reflected in one of the shortened URLs, so keep that in mind. The other links generated will simply use random characters.
Rather than a bar across the top, BridgeURL shows two tabs on the left and right sides of your screen that allow you to go to your previous and next links in the bundle.
Though listed as being in the beta phase, Krunchd is already a very popular bundler.
Krunchd supports custom URL naming up to 18 characters. When creating your bundle, you’re also able to define it by more than what other bundlers in this post offer you. Optional fields are email, title, description, and tags. You’re also required to fill out a very simple CAPTCHA.
Bundled pages use a very similar top menubar in comparison to fur.ly. You’re able to see how many views your “krunch” has, and navigate through URLs by drop-down menu or previous/next buttons.
Which of these three URL bundlers do you find to be the easiest to use? Let me know and share your own discoveries in the comments section below!
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