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Our 5 Favourite URL Shorteners For Twitter




Read our update to this list here

URL shortening services are fantastic. They are especially useful on Twitter, helping link tweeters to fit their URL-containing tweets within the 140 character limit. We at SMF prefer bit.ly, the reasons for this are explained below, but there are some other great URL shorteners that we use from time to time. Here are our five favourite URL shorteners for use on Twitter, though they are often just as useful if you’re posting links on Facebook, Google+ or any other social media platform.

1. bit.ly

The most popular URL shortener, bit.ly has a number of useful features which make your shortened URLs easier to organise and monitor. You need to sign in first to take advantage of most of these features, but it’s worth it. Firstly, you can customise your links, as long as your choices haven’t been used before.

Secondly, you can view all the bit.ly links you have created, search through them, and even categorise them into bundles to make them easier to find. Thirdly, you can add notes to your links to help you remember what they’re about and where you posted them. You can also make your bit.ly links private.

Finally, possibly the greatest feature, you can view the stats of your URL links: how many times they have been clicked and the percentage of times they have been clicked on. Of course, you don’t have to sign in to bit.y to use the service, which is great if you want to get something shortened quickly.

2. goo.gl

The best thing about using goo.gl instead of the alternative URL shorteners is that you can link the service with your Google account, meaning you can manage it from the Google toolbar. Like bit.ly, goo.gl has a detailed analytics service, with an interface similar to Google Analytics.

Google’s URL shortener uses the search engine giant’s automatic spam checker, so your goo.gl links will be viewed with less suspicion than some of the alternatives.

3. tiny.cc

An obvious disadvantage about tiny.cc – and it may seem like a small one but, considering Twitter’s 140 character limit, it is significant – is the extra letter. Both goo.gl and bit.ly are only five letters long, tiny.cc is six.

Apart from that, tiny.cc is pretty good: you can customize your link and you don’t have to sign in to use the service. However, because of its ease of use, tiny.cc links are favoured by affiliate marketers, so people are less likely to click on them.

4. ow.ly

The shortest of the link options in this list, ow.ly is so far down because of its lack of features and its major flaw: to create an ow.ly link, users must first prove that they are human, which is a bit of a waste of time for most (of course, it does stop bots exploiting the service).

The service is also light on features: all you can do is view the images and documents that you have added.

5. t.co

The main advantage of Twitter’s URL shortener, t.co, is that it shortens any URL typed into the compose box automatically. Apart from that, however, it isn’t very good. It changes every link, no matter what the length, to 22 characters.

Although t.co links often contain more information about the content of the URL than other types of shortened URL, they don’t look very good in a tweet. If you want your shortened URLs to show information pertaining to what they contain, you may as well use one of the customisable options above.

Which is your favourite URL shortening service? Are there any not on this list that should be?

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below.




Will Sigsworth

Follow us @SocialMediaF & @WillAtSMF

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Our 5 Favourite URL Shorteners For Twitter Reviewed by Will Sigsworth on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 Rating: 5
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