Shorteners Getting Bigger

December 24, 2009 · Posted in blogging, facebook, Google, SEM, twitter 

bitly-logoWhen smart companies all start doing the same thing, it’s probably a good idea to figure out what they know. If you haven’t quite noticed yet, there’s some sort of micro trend percolating in the biz of making web URLs shorter.

In the past few weeks, several important websites have created their own URL shorteners. You’ve seen shortened URLs, which make long web addresses much more manageable for sharing on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Among the most popular services are Bit.ly and Tr.im.

For the most part, URL shorteners are just an interesting utility, but it’s clearly something more powerful than most people realize. That’s a bit like search engines. In the beginning, search engines were important, but nobody could have predicted the massive Google empire. (Except Google, of course.)

Now, URL shorteners are shaping up to be a very interesting micro trend. Consider the fact that several important sites have announced their own URL shorteners in the last few weeks, including:

Will this be a big trend? Not sure. From a publisher’s perspective, there are certainly some advantages to having people use your shorteners, particularly since it gives them interesting data about where people are linking.

Several experts are raising security issues around URL shorteners, so this micro trend may have serious industry repercussions. Yep, shorteners are definitely getting bigger.

Is the world ready for a shorter URL for me? Like Bud.dy or Scal.ra?

Comments

  • http://blog.cullmanndesign.com/ Chris Cullmann

    URL shorteners are more about branding than anything else. What makes the branded shortening services so important to their owners is the ability to associate a link in twitter or facebook with their brands. Not only does it extend a brand’s reach into a new social channel, but depending on the reader’s viewpoint, it may make the link more likely to be clicked on.

  • admin

    Chris – Branding is one element. The other element, which is probably why so many sites are getting into the game, is data. There’s a certain amount of data that you collect when someone uses a shortened URL. The information that Bit.ly has collected can be valuable. Google and Yahoo and Bing and Ask are all missing out on huge volumes of traffic and usage data.

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