With the growth of Twitter, it seems there’s been a surge in the use of URL shorteners. They’re also an essential for mailing lists, including Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups, as links over a certain length (40-50 characters) will break for people who use plain-text email.
TinyURL.com was the original, and is still widely used. But depending on your needs, there are probably some better solutions for you. Here are my three favorite URL shorteners, for various reasons:
is.gd Its supposed to be a URL shortener, right? But because of its fairly long domain name and its widespread popularity, TinyURL now generates URLs that are 25 characters long (http://tinyurl.com/6527hq), while is.gd generates them 17 characters long (http://is.gd/bOln). Maybe not a big deal on a Yahoo! Group, but extremely important on Twitter. It’s also built in to Twhirl, my Twitter client of choice.
budurl.com For serious marketers, this thing is pretty cool. It gives you extensive tracking reporting. Free for light use, reasonably priced for heavier use.
snurl.com (aka snipurl.com) TinyURL now lets you create custom aliases for links, but thats a recent addition snurl has been doing that all along. It also includes tracking capabilities not quite as extensive as budurl, but ample to satisfy most people’s curiosity.
New addition 12/19/2008:
TwitPWR – Intended to be used only for Twitter, this cool tool ranks the top URL sharers and hot URLs, as well as showing recently posted URLs by TwitPWR users. It also shows a tiny bar at the top of the site showing who shared the link originally (follow my link to see it in action). Seems like a great way to get a little extra exposure for your Twitter link sharing. Hat tip to @joelcomm.
Do you have another favorite (or love one of these)? Leave a comment and tell us which one and why.