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    Web URL Are Becoming Shorter, Google Ready To Use It

    As the number of websites are increasing rapidly Short URLs are becoming more and more a part of the daily life on the Internet – especially with microblogs such as Twitter where every character counts. Google, trying to be all things on the Internet as always, launched their own. And so did Facebook.
    Bit.ly on the other hand are expanding their services with bit.ly Pro. It’s getting quite crowded in the short URL busines.
    For now, Google’s URL shortner, called goo.gl, works only with the Google Toolbar and Feedburner. It is possible it will open up and work as a regular URL shortner – Google do like to know which links get clicked. If people like it, then it’s quite possible that goo.gl will become just another facet of Google’s services available to the public at large.

    Facebook on the other hand uses theirs, fb.me, for just its mobile interface and its not clear if they’ll get into the URL shortening game seriously.
    All this should be making bit.ly and (the likes) quite nervous. It scored big when it became the default link shortener for Twitter. And Google (among others) already include live search results from Twitter. All this amounts to 2.1 billion links shortened. That’s billion! The previous year they did just 11.8 million. If you want to calculate the YoY growth in percents, be my guest.
    But bit.ly are countering Google’s and Facebook’s entry into their business by offering a Pro service. This bit.ly Pro service allows you to create short URLs that start with a domain of your choosing. It’s a beta for now but it could become very popular.
    For example, New York Times uses nyti.ms. The benefit of this is that a nyti.ms link will take you to the NY Times page, while a generic short URL is a lot more ambiguous. There are efforts to weed out short URLs, which point to malware, but still personalized links will always be safer to click.
    To finish off the short URL topic, here is a benchmark of some of the most popular URL shorteners. Because as everyone on the Internet knows, benchmarks make all arguments better. 

     It’s a bit dated and doesn’t include goo.gl and fb.me (which are limited to specific apps anyway), but it’s still interesting – for example it shows that is.gd is the fastest, while ow.ly is the most reliable. Also, it’s a good baseline for subsequent tests, so we can see how much individual services have improved (or gotten worse). 
    Original Post By Google:
    Making URLs shorter for Google Toolbar and FeedBurner

    This(14 Dec 2009) morning, we launched updated versions of the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner that offer a new URL shortening service from Google called the Google URL Shortener. We mentioned our URL shortener as a feature in both announcements, so we wanted to say a little more about how this product works and why we're offering it.
    People share a lot of links online. This is particularly true as microblogging services such as Twitter have grown in popularity. If you're not familiar with them, URL shorteners basically squeeze a long URL into fewer characters to make it easier to share with others. With character limits in tweets, status updates and other modes of short form publishing, a shorter URL leaves more room to say what's on your mind — and that's why people use them.

    First, we think people who use the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner will benefit from a shortener that is easily accessible — making it faster and easier to share, post and email links. Second, we've built this on Google's global infrastructure to offer the following benefits:
    • Stability: Google's scalable, multi-datacenter infrastructure provides great uptime and a reliable service to our users.
    • Security: As we do with web search, shortened URLs are automatically checked to detect sites that may be malicious and warn users when the short URL resolves to such sites.
    • Speed: At Google we like fast products and we've worked hard to ensure this service is quick. We'll continue to iterate and improve the speed of Google Url Shortener.
    Google URL shortener is not a stand-alone service; you can't use it to shorten links directly. Currently, Google URL Shortener is only available from the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner. If the service proves useful, we may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future.

    We're excited about enabling this functionality — try it for Toolbar and FeedBurner!

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