Ever Since the advent of the internet and the websites, and the URLs and the long URLs and the Nastily Long URLs, people have been worried about trimming them. (Just like you might trim your hair, after they get too-long!).I am going to preview 3 most popular URL shorteners today:
Kevin Gilbertson, a web developer, made TinyURL service in January 2002 so that he could be able to link directly to newsgroup postings that frequently had long and cumbersome addresses. Later he made it public to the world. TinyURL was a rage on the internet for years, and the sole dominant in minuscule world of URL Shorteners. Things changed quickly however, and TinyURL had to face some really tough-competition in the recent past. Gilberston currently owns the website under the name Gilby Production. The website is currently 754 in the Alexa rankings and generates revenue through Donations and Advertising.
Let's have a look at what it really does offer. TinyURL.com, provides its users with a browser-toolbar, URL Shortener and a URLCustomizer, and you needn't register an account. This is purely simple stuff, no-fancy UI and a Strict Policy on what is being shortened.
Where does TinyURL go wrong? See, people aren't really bothered about insights or fancy QRCodes, they just need a Short-Simple URL Shortener. However TinyURL's website is too complex and far from intuitive. More over the URL's tend to be a little longer than the competitor URLs, this wouldn't have been a problem for the initial aims of the website however since the new use of such shorteners is for micro-blogging where there is a stiff-character limit, Tiny URL doesn't serve the purpose at all. And after Twitter switching their default URL shortener from TinyURL to Bit.ly, TinyURL is left with a lot to worry about.
Just for information, .ly is the top-level country domain of Lybia. bitly is based in New York City, and began as a project at Betaworks. Currently bit.ly is the most popular and widely used URL shortener in the world.
See that? Bit.ly is a very-simple way of getting a URL shortened. You just need to type in a URL and you will get a short URL ready. Believe me, People just Love that! They love Speed.
With URL Shortening Bit.ly also provides different options to the users, one can signup for free, and get insights on the short URL, custom short urls and QR codes, which can be read through Mobile QR Code Readers. And after shedding some-money, you can make your custom short url domain, like Pepsi has one, called pep.si.
But sometimes too-many features tend to be bad, and they certainly are for URLShorteners, think of it this way, one who wants a short URL won't actually be looking forward to track it, to decipher it, to sit and create an account, he would just be in a hurry to share his link on Social Platforms and that to neatly. These things can be done in a much better way.
Earlier,launched as a side tool for google products such as toolbars, and feed burner, Google released this service to world in September 2010. Goo.gl has been on rise to popularity ever since.
Goo.gl is a very simple tool. Nothing fancy at all. Just go to goo.gl, paste your URL and instantly get a short URL for your link. That's just it. Nothing else is required.
However if you have been logged into your gmail account, you can see a complete history of all the URLs you've ever shortened, their shortened versions and the number of people who've gone to the website. goo.gl provides almost everything to the user, without taking much time and input from the user. It is simple it is clean and it is almost what one needs. However, The lack of allowing custom and meaningful titles to the short URL is slightly Disappointing.
Mobile Connectivity: Not Surprisingly, None of these websites have an iOS/Android/WinPhone7 application. Mobile Users, and specially smartphone users will have to use their proper computer based websites to shorten the URL, which is quite a pain. Although, a few developers have created third party apps for URL shorteners, i would say they are far from reliable and you need to shell some money to buy them too. Bit.ly provides, a mobile website which is quite what one needs with these shorteners. Since none-other website provides such a website, Bit.ly leads over here also.
Summing it up: The URL Shortening service is just a small field of tough competition. You cannot distinguish the difference between whose providing more. Everyone provides the same. Its only the simplicity and connectivity that wins. The one which is more accessible the users, and easy to remember, and good to look at wins the race. And the race is different for everyone.
Analysis of the Short URLs:
Original URL: http://mvdittechbook.com/Gm_Entries/addictive.htm
TinyURL Customized URL: http://tinyurl.com/mvd-addictive
Bit.ly Original URL: http://bit.ly/lhr1Zs
Bit.ly Cutomized URL: http://bit.ly/mvd-addictive
Goo.gl (Google URL Shortener): http://goo.gl/oWF47