Posted September 4, 2009 12:33 pm by with 11 comments

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Twitter Bird GoofyIn a world of 140 characters, URLs are a thing of the past. As Twitter has grown and gained in hype popularity, the URL shorteners have seen a similar rise—but the sprint for shortest URL may actually be over.

Back in May, Twitter abandoned its default support of TinyURL, a URL shortener that reduced URLs to 25 characters. Twitter moved to, saving its users 6 characters to create 19-character URLs. (Yes, now you can add ROTFL with impunity.)

Now is announcing an even shorter URL shortener: will use all of the same tools that has, but without all those extra characters. That’s right, now your URLs can be shared in just 17 (or 18) characters. Now you can add that extra ! (and/or 1) to give your tweet the oomph it needs.

Yep, in my tests, could produce a string of five characters for its short URLs, and sometimes produced a string of six characters, thus negating half of its advantage.

Now, is it just me, or if you’re really trying to conserve characters, wouldn’t you make sure that the random string generated is as short as possible?


  • Eventually these URL shrinkers will be down to a few characters. It is helpful though to get in that last word that never seems to fit.

  • Jordan proves she can “title-bait” with the best of ’em! 😉

  • What? Did I say something 0:—)

  • Hershel Miller

    @ Andy I’d like to see her do it with a “Shorter Title”

  • LOL @ Hershel

  • Actually, there’s a way to make a URL shortener that adds zero characters to the length of each URL:

  • stan

    I have been tweeting some of your more original posts.. Don’t you people sleep! about 5-6 articles a day, do you do any work for clients? Since you’re on the subject of Bitly URL;s or is it J.mply?
    could you guys include a short (Twitter) friendly link at the bottom of your posts. Would help some of us retweeters. You people have excellent stuff by the way.

  • Sleep? What is this “sleep”?

  • paula

    If you really want to try out some cool stuff, try the URL shorteners at . They give you not one, but multiple tiny urls that are fail safe at servers! Cool!

  • I stopped using URL shorteners when I realized (a) I’m losing my OWN brand power and giving it to somebody else’s brand, and (b) as long as my own URL is short enough, I can create your own shortening service on my own site, and reinforce my own brand.

    It just requires a little PHP knowledge. But in fact, even that isn’t necessary, because there are scripts out there that will do it for you.
    .-= Paul,´s last blog ..Blog Inspiration Dried Up? How To Get An Instant Fix For Your Blog Inspiration =-.

  • PS3

    I like the strikethrough on “hype” Jordan. A few colleagues were chewing the fat about the next big thing to hit the internet and we have decided to invent something that is totally meaningless but obsessive.

    Then someone else pointed out that social networking has already been invetied so we retired to the pub 🙂