Popular URL shortening tools to use in social media updates or tweets
Why would anyone want to shorten a URL for hyperlinks when it’s so easy to copy and paste URLs into online documents and fields? Think of short URLs as an alias or nickname for a longer URL. Both URLs go to the same website with the same speed, but one requires fewer characters, so typing or copying / pasting requires less effort. Short URLs are useful for updates on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, where users are given a small number of characters to provide updates on what they are doing or interested in. Most of the short URL tools are free and only require an account for additional data. Short URLs can be used to promote a blog, submit interesting articles online, and provide easy access to photos or videos on any website.
bit.ly is one of the most popular URL shortening tools, as it is what Twitter originally used to automatically shorten long hyperlinks and is the type of link created by the social “Add This” buttons on blogs and article sites. Although Twitter no longer automatically shortens links for users, bit-ly is still popular because it allows you to track statistics on your use of short links. Regardless of which social media tool the link is used on, it will return the number of clicks on the link and display it on the computer where the link was originally made for a short period of time on a user without an account. Users who have set up an account can get a longer period history and view reports from any computer by logging into their account. To make a short link, simply enter the longest URL in the marked field and click the Shorten button. After the new link is displayed, move to it and a copy function will appear on the clipboard to save a copy and paste it into the text fields of the social network. For more information, there is a walkthrough feature available at the bottom of the bit.ly home page. The walkthrough is a series of information pages on functions for shortening, sharing, tracking and managing links, as well as advanced tools. All tour options show related screenshots.
is.gd it’s nice because it has a quick link compression tool without a lot of other options on the homepage that can confuse new users. However, a neat feature of this short URL service is the ability to copy your links and then put a dash (-) at the end of your short URL to preview information on the linked web page before clicking to go. to that site. This can avoid visiting sites that automatically launch code, audio, or video on an unwanted site. The is.gd description page also offers a good list of options to consider for using short URLs. Go to the instructions page to find out how to use this tool on different platforms or the technical page for API details.
TinyURL.com is another popular URL shortening tool used by many social networks, although it refers to itself as an email tool. It allows the creation of custom URLs as well as random links without an account. It does not currently provide any statistics on URL usage, but check the options it offers on the home page.
Urlfy is a popular URL shortening tool used in tweets. Just enter the long URL in the field and click Shorten. The short link will appear to copy / paste into Tweets. If you want a custom short URL, click the Custom URL option to create it. The home page also shows the main social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter. Using this tool to display the links most visited by the user can reduce search time. You can find additional information about this service on its home page.
Other applications to facilitate the use of the Internet or social networks may include a short URL utility that the user sets or creates automatically. Some to check out include HooteSuite (ow.ly) and StumbleUpon (su.pr). Most will have the utility on the home page for registered accounts. Otherwise, check the Help, FAQ or About option of the application to see if it includes this utility or recommends the use of another tool.
Chances are everyone on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter saw short URLs in received updates and clicked on the link because it came from a trusted source. Check out the shortest url option that sounds best for networking or other linking needs and start using shorter urls too! It can make socializing over the web much easier.