So what makes a URL shortener great? The value of a URL shortener lies in its simplicity. When people share a URL, they expect the browser to open the website they’re looking for. This simple act of sharing allows the marketer to get more exposure for their site; while saving you time, it also helps drive traffic to their site. While there are thousands of URL shortening services out there, only a select few offer the best user experience, reliability, and value for money.
A URL shortener is a tool that turns a long URL into a short, customizable URL. A URL shortener is the same as a link shortener, link compressor, or link shrinker to avoid any confusion. It’s just a different way of saying the same thing.
Shortened URLs are achieved through a redirect which links to a web page with a long URL. For example:
This long URL https://www.amazon.com/s?k=apple&crid=3VHXP323NGX5F&sprefix=appl%2Caps%2C116&linkCode=ll2&tag=timlelcom-20&linkId=6ffa80c0a1696b6949fad309d0caf915&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl
Becomes this shortened https://t.ly/AmazonLink
If you’re trying to share files, the first link is long and is impossible to remember. Contrast with the second link that’s short, customized, and memorable. You can use https://t.ly/AmazonLink in a one-on-one conversation just as easily as typing it into an email.
What is a URL Shortener?
As your organization grows, so will the amount of content and data your employees create and share. Workers will use links to spread information from internal knowledge bases, like a Wiki, to onboarding documents for new employees and company news like product roadmaps and announcements. As time passes, these links are impossible to keep track of. Rather than being productive, focusing on the work at hand, employees begin to spend more and more time searching for internal resources.
When Should You Use It?
Enter URL shorteners to the rescue. Where links were previously large, unattractive, and quickly forgettable, a URL shortener allows you to turn long links into natural and memorable short links. Rather than a string of random digits, you can name your short links in a way that’s easy to memorize for team members.
For enterprise clients, URL shorteners improve internal knowledge sharing among employees and help you keep track of organizational URLs.
History of URL Shorteners
Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) were defined in RFC 1738 in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and the URI working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force.
TinyURL is a URL shortening web service, which provides short aliases for redirection of long URLs. Kevin Gilbertson, a web developer, launched the service in January 2002 as a way to post links in newsgroup postings that frequently had long, cumbersome addresses. TinyURL was the first notable URL shortening service and is one of the oldest still currently operating.
Bitly is a URL shortening service and a link management platform, and the company Bitly, Inc., was established in 2008. It is privately held and based in New York City. Bitly shortens 600 million links per month, for use in social networking, SMS, and email. Bitly makes money by charging for access to aggregate data created as a result of many people using short URLs.
Google URL shortener was called goo.gl and was one of the most popular URL shorteners on the web. However, Google later announced in 2019 that they were replacing goo.gl with Firebase Dynamic Links, but existing goo.gl links would continue to work.
New URL Shortener
When Google announced they were shutting down their link shortener, this opened up the market for a new and improved URL Shortener. T.LY was created to replace goo.gl and be the next most popular URL shortener. T.LY has over 8 million short URLs and has tracked over 70 million clicks. T.LY is an affordable alternative to other URL shorteners and offers features such as custom domains, stats, smart URLs, and more.