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It’s incredible how many different URL shortening services 10 Short URL Services Face Off! 10 Short URL Services Face Off! Read More have cropped up in the last few years. With the rise of microblogging, any way to save characters really makes a difference. In fact, without services like TinyURL, there wouldn’t be any way to put most URL’s in a single tweet, let alone add text to describe the link.

Despite the diversity of URL shorteners out there, none of them are quite like The easiest way to explain is to walk you through the process of shortening a URL with it. First of all, take any URL you like. For my example I’m going to use the front page of MakeUseOf.

Obviously if you want to send your link to a friend or post it on Twitter, you’re going to need to condense it into a smaller package. Heading over to will present you with a text box for your URL.

url truncation

Notice at the bottom there is a check box for whether you want to compose this link into a Twitter post. This is because allows you to either make a separate account or simply use your pre-existing Twitter account. If you choose the latter, you’ll have all the same user benefits of having an account, but will also send your links on to Twitter, per your preferences. also accepts accounts as well.

url short When you’ve put in your URL, there is a little box available to you for extra options. You can try to select a unique identifier for your link. For ours I went with “MUO.” Fortunately it was available. Next you can select a privacy code. I couldn’t figure out what that was supposed to be for the life of me, but it completely disabled the first demo I tried to use it with. The instructions fail to come up when clicked, so no help there. Lastly, you can add some search terms to your link, but this is another mystery option.


Finally, when you click the “!” button, your link will be trimmed according to your selections and from there you can post it wherever. The story doesn’t end there, though. As I mentioned before, the link can then be made into a tweet for Twitter or There are several sets of preferences that allow you to adjust how that works. Also, you can choose whether the link will go directly to the target address or go to an intermediary page so your friends can be sure it’s not a dangerous link.

url shortening service

The last and most interesting feature of is the stats tracking for each link. As you can see, each of my links has been clicked a different number of times and has a date attached to it for easy categorization. It looks like the link that has been clicked the most is, a link for contributing to the two charities I am trying to raise funds for. I love the ability to track the links you make because largely when you make a link you actually want people to click it (whereas many links are just for reference). also includes a handy pie chart to display where the clicks are coming from.

Overall I plan on using in a limited capacity. All the microblogging tools I use already include link shortening, so that characteristic isn’t lacking in my digital life. The main thing I want from is the link tracking. Often I put up a link on Twitter and I want to know how many people actually clicked through to see what it was. Not only does this help me structure my teasers on Twitter more effectively the next time, but it is yet another metric to see where my traffic is coming from.

  1. WaterWeb
    June 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Found out what the privacy code is - it makes a url that can't be followed unless you give out the code.

    • WaterWeb
      June 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm

      A privacy code is a unique code that must be appended to the URL to access it, for example, This allows you to ensure that a URL can't be followed unless you give it out with this privacy code.

  2. Wm. Marc Salsberry
    February 25, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I found your article very helpful. Thank you.

  3. Adam
    November 8, 2008 at 1:59 am

    If there is a wordpress plugin for create your short URL and tracking, it's great.

    I don't want to use thirdparty's service.:)

  4. Ronny Johnsen
    October 22, 2008 at 7:09 am

    DiggUrl.Com Professional Short URl Website

    Have difficulties with never-ending URLs? Diggurl will solve all your problems

    Visit to create shortened/redirected URLs to any long URL.

    # Free! No registration required.
    # Manage your shortened URLs.
    # Set temporary download links and protect them with password.
    # Hide your URLs from search engines and bots.
    # Cleaner bookmarks in your web browsers.
    # Continuous URLs in emails.
    # AJAX interface;
    # Bulk URL shortening;
    # Password-protected URLs;
    # Temporary URLs;
    # Custom tags;
    # Custom tags for bulk URLs (automatically assigned tags like tag1, tag2, tag3 and so on);
    # Redirects statistic - referer domain, referer page, visitor's IP (+ link to geographical information about each visitor), date;
    # URLs and hits statistics can be seen even without registration (IP-based authorization);
    # Registered users: edit/delete URLs;
    # Mass upload URLs from file;
    # Export links to CSV file;

  5. martie
    October 6, 2008 at 8:19 am

    I found a new one. They call it, I am testing it at the moment, I got 30 days for free.It is pretty good.The most important thing for me that it gives me detailed and clear statisitcs info respectively the others .

  6. Daniel
    September 29, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    I can't believe how many URL-shortening websites there are now! That & those disposable email websites... I end up using &, respectively. I love how snurl lets you snip a URL right from the website by the toolbar favourite they provide. Was just curious: which are the most popular URL-shortening site & disposable email addy sites?

    • Aibek
      October 1, 2008 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Daniel

      Here are my favorites:


      I don't have any favorite URL shortener, I just use the very first one that comes into my mind. But that's also because I don't have a strong need for them. If you need to truncate URLs on a regular basis then make sure to check following link.

      there are plenty of good url truncators there.


      Until recently, I have been a major fan of the service called MintEmail. But then Ross wrote about a new app called YopMail, which is even better.

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