Facebook and Google launch URL shorteners

Ronny Kerr · December 14, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/c6a

fb.me and goo.gl join bit.ly, su.pr, and digg.com URL shorteners

URL shortenerGoogle announced Monday afternoon that updated versions of the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner will now feature a Google URL shortening service. Like any other URL shortener, the Google URL shortener will take a lengthy URL and reduce it to a size fit for tweeting, starting with the characters goo.gl.

Stability, security, and speed will be very important to the function of the Google URL shortener, and Google says it will defend users from malware or phishing sites, easily hidden behind a generic URL shortener.

At the rate we're going, it seems like every site with a little spare time and money will soon have their very own URL shortener.

Though it didn't just come out today, a Facebook URL shortener, fb.me, can be used to direct users to profile pages or pages shared via mobile, reports Mashable. For example, fb.me/ronny.kerr is the short link to my profile page. Similarly, any m.facebook.com link automatically reverts to a fb.me link when shared among users.

URL shorteners have really seen a surge in relevance in the last year with the rise of microblogging, made mainstream by Twitter's 140-character limit on posting. Content has to be kept small, but large, unwieldy links can sometimes easily exceed 140 characters.

Fb.me and goo.gl are joining a crowded market, populated by Bit.ly, the favorite URL shortener on Twitter, StumbleUpon's su.pr, and Digg's own URL shortener. Even Coke has one.

Because we've seen that URL shortening probably cannot be a business in of itself, we will likely become accustomed to each service we use having its own version of URL shortening.

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