6 Cool URL Shorteners With A Twist Which You Should Try Out

Tina Sieber 02-06-2011

URL shorteners are a dime a dozen and don’t seem to survive long. Many have come and gone, of which the list of URL shortening services in the MakeUseOf Directory holds proof. While regular URL shortening is nothing new or exciting anymore, there are still several pretty cool services out there that offer a little twist that keeps them interesting.


In this article I will show you 6 of the coolest URL shortening services that do more than simply shorten a URL. They can scan the inserted URL for malware, warn the unsuspecting visitor of unsafe content, check whether the visitor is human, unite multiple URLs into one, protect the URL with a question, or simply make the shortest and most weirdest looking URL you have ever seen.

isNSFW [Broken URL Removed]

customised url shortener

In case you didn’t know it yet, NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work. If you want to share a link that matches this description, then you should pick isNSFW. It allows you to further specify how the underlying website is not safe for work, by picking one of the following ratings: offensive, gore, nudity, or XXX. You can also specify a custom alias.

unicode url

Once the link is used, the visitor is taken to a screen that previews the full URL and warns them of the rated content.


url shortener [No Longer Available]

shorten multiple urls

With you can shorten and assign multiple long URLs to one short URL. This is a great way to share a collection of links with your friends. As you type URLs in an empty line, a new empty line will appear. Before you hit > Go at the bottom of the list, you need to enter a CAPTCHA.

share link collection


The result is pretty cool because it automatically opens the first URL and lets you move through the other ones via tiny a toolbar at the top of the page. You can view a drop-down list of URLs or view the usage stats for your short URL.

browse urls

There are several services similar to

  • You should have a look at MinMu if you care about safety because it scans all the links for potentially dangerous content using WOT. Unfortunately, image previews are not working.
  • Viewista is interesting because it lets you combine multiple links and decide on a default view mode in which they will be shown. You can select from a slide show (like, vertical, two column, horizontal, or 2×2 grid view. The visitor of your link can also switch back and forth between different view modes.

Finally, find more interesting tools in these articles:


url shortener

Interested in security, but don’t need to shorten multiple URLs? Try, which creates secure short URLs with anonymous referers, anti-bot protection (entering a CAPTCHA required), and unique thumbnail previews of the site you are about to visit.

It may be a little annoying, but you actually have to enter the CAPTCHA in order to be let through to the full URL, not to create a short URL. This could be an argument against using, but the idea is that the URL is protected from random or mindless clicking through.

url shortener

Advertisement [No Longer Works] is another URL shortening service that takes security to heart. It checks every link for malware with BitDefender before it is shortened.

url malware scan

You can instantly share a link created with via Twitter, Google, and Facebook or simply copy the link to your Clipboard. Furthermore, you have access to statistics for your short URL, which among other things reveals the scan status for antivirus, anti-phishing, and java script.

social url sharing

There is a lot of potential for fun in this tool as it allows you to protect your short URL with a password, riddle, or question.

url shorteners funny

Tiny Arrows

url shorteners funny

Tiny Arrows creates the shortest URLs on Earth by working with the Unicode standard IDN. It makes the links look kind of funny.

url shorteners funny

Moreover, when you use one of their short URLs, you are shown an eight seconds preview of the URL you are about to visit. You can skip the preview temporarily by clicking > Go Now or forever by choosing > Never show a URL preview again.

customised url shortener

For more options, have a look at this article: 6 Interesting Flavors of Short URL Generation & Manipulation 6 Interesting Flavors of Short URL Generation & Manipulation Read More .

And if you’re sick and tired of short URLs, how about swimming against the stream and making a URL huge instead? Just for the fun of it, check out [NO LONGER WORKS] huge URL. Because bigger is better, right?

What is your favorite URL shortener and did you like any of the twists in the ones above?

Image credits: Skobrik

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  1. GuccizBud
    October 5, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Note that all the "???" below are Unicode characters, which I see don't get resolved here.

  2. GuccizBud
    October 5, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    To site admin
    "Tiny Arrows" is also dead, as of March or April of 2018 (?it's now October?). You may want to mark it as no longer working, as you did the others.

  3. Kristijan
    July 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Try It has some cool features such as qr code generation and browsing through random submitted URLs that approved it

  4. ipaste
    June 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Great review

  5. Anonymous
    June 11, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Great round up. I'll check some of them out. Thanks.

  6. Abhijit Daniel Dara
    June 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    [Broken Link Removed]

  7. Scutterman
    June 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I don't share links very often, so I just use bitly, but the tiny arrows shortener looks like fun

  8. Anonymous
    June 3, 2011 at 6:21 am

    The first one very nice

  9. Tina
    June 3, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Where is the twist in that one?