It has become very popular to shorten long URLs (or web addresses), for a variety of reasons. When the URL you are sharing is a long string of letters and numbers, it can easily get broken, is difficult to remember and can’t be pronounced. It’s not easy to share that long link with others. At times, using a link shortener service that takes a web address and translates it into a much shorter length is the right thing to do.
Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the best services:
Bit.ly is the most widely used service. It shortens links and also allows you to track and analyze how many people have clicked each link and where they came from. The custom links feature allows you to choose keywords to make the shortened link memorable.
Tiny.url is another service that has been around a long time and is used by many people.
Google has a public system, called Goo.gl that shortens your links as well, but all tracking and information about your links is available to everyone.
Bud.url, is not free, but has additional analytics and customer service features that make it worth the $8 monthly price.
If you are considering shortening your links simply for posting on Twitter, you needn’t bother. Twitter automatically shortens every link posted using their own t.co shortener. The advantage to this is that placing your cursor over a t.co link will show you the longer link so that you can avoid links that look like spam.
Links from Facebook also automatically shorten into one of 3 formats: fb.com, fb.me and on.fb.me; so links from Facebook can be taken care of without the use of a shortening service.