URL shortening services (also known as URL shorteners) have become very popular and widely used thanks to Twitter’s 140-character restriction on tweets.
There are numerous URL shortening services available but a lot of them are not even worth mentioning. Some of them are very slow to use and their services are not always available which means that short URLs created using them may not always work. Many of them do not provide the ability to track data and analyze traffic generated by the short URLs you have created.
However, there are few URL shorteners that provide fast and stable services and also offer extra features other than basic URL shortening. They include:
Goo.gl: This is Google’s own URL shortening service and is one of the newest shorteners available. These are some of its extra features:
– Fastest and most stable URL shortening service available according to Google and other independent sources.
– Provides security measures as a warning message is displayed if the short URL points to a suspected malware or phishing site.
– Automatically generates a QR code for every link that is shortened
– Allows data tracking and analysis which includes the browsers and operating systems from which people click on a link.
Bit.ly: Bit.ly is the default URL shortener for Twitter and if it is good enough for Twitter, then it should be good enough for you too. Its extra features include:
– Allows you to create your own custom or branded short links e.g. pep.si for the Pepsi brand.
– Provides browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox which allow you to expand the short link to see the long URL that it directs to.
– Offers bookmarklets which allow you to easily shorten any URL right from your browser.
– Can be integrated with several third party tools, widgets and applications like Facebook and Twitter share buttons, Tweetdeck and Seesmic.
– Provides extensive traffic analysis. It can also track data from third party tools.
– Bit.ly also generates a QR code.
TinyURL: This was the default URL shortener for Twitter before it was replaced by Bit.ly. With TinyURL you can do the following:
– Create custom short URLs.
– It provides a toolbar button that enables URL shortening from your browser.
– It also offers URL redirection so that any page within a website can be visited using one short URL.
– Has a preview feature which allows you to see where the short URL leads to.
– Allows you to track and analyze traffic on the links that you create.
The above 3 URL shorteners are not the only ones that provides these extra services but they are some of the best and will be adequate for your uses.
Google URL Shortener: Features
Bit.ly: A Simple URL Shortener
TinyURL: Shorten That Long URL into a Tiny URL