What Is URL Shortening?
URL shortening is a technique on the World Wide Web in which a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) may be made substantially shorter and still direct to the required page. This is achieved by using a redirect which links to the web page that has a long URL. For example, the URL "http://example.com/assets/category_B/subcategory_C/Foo/" can be shortened to "https://example.com/Foo", and the URL "http://example.com/about/index.html" can be shortened to "https://goo.gl/aO3Ssc". Often the redirect domain name is shorter than the original one. A friendly URL may be desired for messaging technologies that limit the number of characters in a message (for example SMS), for reducing the amount of typing required if the reader is copying a URL from a print source, for making it easier for a person to remember, or for the intention of a permalink.
Other uses of URL shortening are to "beautify" a link, track clicks, or disguise the underlying address.
There are several reasons to use URL shortening. Often regular unshortened links may be aesthetically unpleasing. Many web developers pass descriptive attributes in the URL to represent data hierarchies, command structures, transaction paths or session information. This can result in URLs that are hundreds of characters long and that contain complex character patterns. Such URLs are difficult to memorize, type-out or distribute. As a result, long URLs must be copied-and-pasted for reliability. Thus, short URLs may be more convenient for websites or hard copy publications (e.g. a printed magazine or a book), the latter often requiring that very long strings be broken into multiple lines (as is the case with some e-mail software or internet forums) or truncated.
In URL shortening, every long URL is associated with a unique key, which is the part after its top-level domain name. For example, http://tinyurl.com/m3q2xt has a key of m3q2xt. Not all redirection is treated equally; the redirection instruction sent to a browser can contain in its header the HTTP status 301 (permanent redirect), 302, or 307 (temporary redirect).
Makers of URL shorteners usually register domain names with less popular or esoteric Top-level domains in order to achieve a short URL and a catchy name, often using domain hacks.
he first notable URL shortening service, TinyURL, was launched in 2002. Its popularity influenced the creation of at least 100 similar websites,although most are simply domain alternatives. Initially Twitter automatically translated URLs longer than twenty-six characters using TinyURL, although it began using bit.ly instead in 2009 and later developed its own URL shortening service, t.co.
On 14 August 2009 WordPress announced the wp.me URL shortener for use when referring to any WordPress.com blog post.In November 2009, shortened links on bit.ly were accessed 2.1 billion times.Around that time, bit.ly and TinyURL were the most widely used URL-shortening services.
On 14 December 2009 Google announced a service called Google URL Shortener at goo.gl, which originally was only available for use through Google products (such as Google Toolbar and FeedBurner)and extensions for Google Chrome.On 21 December 2009, Google introduced a YouTube URL Shortener, youtu.be.From September 2010 Google URL Shortener became available via a direct interface. The goo.gl service provides analytics details and a QR code generator.
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