Talk:URL shortening

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List of URL Shorteners?[edit]

Should there be a list of URL shorteners on this page? TJRana (talk) 23:34, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I added a topic for that and linked this page to that topic. The list still needs to be expanded and improved Theecomguy (talk) 15:20, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

First was not TinyURL[edit]

Although this page asserts that "The first and most notable URL shortening service is TinyURL, launched in 2002.", it's not entirely true. It may be the most notable, but it certainly wasn't the first if it launched in 2002. I have an email from 2001:

 Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 12:04:07 -0400
 Message-Id: <>
 From: Giles Turnbull <giles@...>
 To: matt@...
 Subject: gorjuss [July 10]

 Here's a really special gorjuss announcement. But there's a story behind it.

 You might remember, many times in the past, that I posted links in gorjuss
 that were way too long to make any sense to a mail client. Links like this:

 Or this one, which is even worse:

 Now when that appears in most people's mail readers (including mine) links
 like these break at the 70th char or so and get continued on the next line.
 The link is too long for the mail reader to display it as something clickable,
 so it gets broken, and the whole point of passing links on to people via
 plain-text email gets mangled up.

 As the owner of a mailing list that does just that (this very one, in fact) I
 frequently got annoyed when I found something gorjuss but couldn't post it
 because the URL was just too darned long.

 Of course I *could* make a re-direct page for each long link. I used to do that,
 in fact, every now and again. But wouldn't it be nice if there was an *easier*
 way of doing it than typing the HTML and FTPing it to the server?

 So I had an idea: a site that makes shorter links for me, instantly and on the
 fly? Hey, not just for me - for *anybody*! Wouldn't that be ace? I mentioned this
 to my friends and one of them, the beyond-superlatives and very wonderful
 Matthew Hunt, agreed to write the code to make such a site happen. 

 So here it is. It's a Useful Production (*branding*, baby!). It's utterly, utterly
 gorjuss. And it's called Make A Shorter Link.

 http://make a shorter

 So, for example. That Palmgear URL above can be reached by clicking on:

 http://make a shorter


The URL has been broken up above as Wikipedia seem to have seen fit to blacklist it. No doubt they have their reasons.

Also see:

So there you have it. In the end TinyURL took over all of the makeashorterlink redirections. Trefynwy (talk) 08:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

--- Addition Monday 7th March, 2011 by

I would like to add to this - I started a website called back in November 1998 that offered free url redirect services based on the domain name and my services have been running ever since. At the time I started, one of the major url redirect services was - cjb had been in full swing for some time when I started and we both well predate tinyurl which started way later. There were also serveral other url redirection services in the late 90's but they unfortunately escape me. I hope someone can use this information to update the entry appropriately as each time I attempt to update it, it is interpreted as spam and reverted back.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, it was once reverted as spam, the other times I reverted it as unreferenced. Please provide proper, independent, and reliable references for the info, and then it could have a go. Thanks. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:03, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

--- Addition Monday 8th March, 2011 by

Well this is a little crazy as it's my website so I know when I started. If you visit my website - - you will see the history there in the news section (as crude as it is). Also you can check the whois record for the domain name upon which my url redirection is based and it is as follows "Record created on 17-Nov-1998" and shows "TwoRoos" as the registrant. Now as far as goes, I have no factual information on that other than I know they were there as they gave me the idea for my url redirection service in the first place. In fact. was quite large at the time (1998) and had been already establish for sufficient time then that they already were selling merchandise.

As this is my first exposure to updating wikipedia, I find it strange that someone with knowledge on the subject can not correct miss-information as you need "proof". I understand why, but sometimes it's hard to provide such proof especially some 12-13 years later. This disheartens me as now I can see wikipedia as a source of miss-information rather than knowledge.

Anyway - a quick visit to my website and a look at the whois listing for hopefully will be sufficient for you to trust the foundation of the information I am putting forward.

Further to this - there were a handful of other url redirect services already in service in 1998 so at a MINIMUM I should expect you correct the crazy statement that url shortening started around 2002 with tinyurl - tinyurl was in fact way down the track as far as the true history goes.

List of providers[edit]

The reference to mashable's provider listing is pretty outdated - here's a updated [list of url shorteners] which is also beeing maintained (but remarks in german though). would it match the weblink criteria? Hjacob (talk) 12:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Recent promotional addition to the example list[edit]

For eight days now, anonymous or new users have tried to insert mentions of a certain new URL shortening service into this Wikipedia article. The promotional intent is obvious from this edit (Oct 21st):

On October 10th, 2009 a new URL shortening service opened up called It's basic, friendly, and simple interface is what has caught the eye of many users looking for a reliable site to shorten URLs. Although the hits-link history is still in beta, you can still request real-time updates by email. Results come within a short amount of time. Another feature in beta is the sites creative "Quick Share" area, where they will take the links to online sites and other applications for you! is a great site for anyone looking for simplicity, and a few links to shorten!

Wikipedia is not for advertising and the list of example should be restricted to a few notable example (see also Wikipedia:Notability (web)). Some other entries in the list have similar problems. Regards, HaeB (talk) 02:35, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

So - unless anyone has a decent reason not to then over the next month I'm going to ask for the redirect from queries for '' to be broken, and will write a page for ... unless I just haven't been looking the right way for one? Nath 18:01, 6 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Festrilmongrit (talkcontribs)


I don't see a need to emphasize that is "Libyan" since this is not the case with practically every other URL shortening domain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sanzoneja (talkcontribs) 05:41, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree, I have done a cleanup. If you feel it's necessary to add such details, please edit the article for and add the details there. --Hm2k (talk) 09:56, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I have added a mention of a patent for URL shortening, pre-dating the earliest mention previously given. Full disclosure: I am an IBM employee (in fact, a colleague of one of the patent inventors). I assume others can judge POV issues. Ken Clarkson (talk) 01:07, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Custom URL Shortening Software[edit]

I think it would be useful to add a section to this page on custom URL shortening software, for instance --Paul Thompson (talk) 15:19, 27 February 2010 (UTC)[edit]

In May 2009 .tk, which previously was used to generate memorable domains via URL redirection, launched,[5] which generates very short URLs such as (which redirects to Wikipedia)[citation needed]

There are several problems with the above. The press release at [1] is dated April 2009 and not May. The .tk service (home page is ) is still offering domain and URL redirection, so "previously" is not accurate. The "citation needed" is probably requesting a better citation for the entire section rather than for the self-obvious redirect to Wikipedia; the above press release is minimally better than the current Twitter citation. I'm not going to edit the section myself because after seeing it, I registered a short domain and I might have a conflict. -- SEWilco (talk) 21:47, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

NanoURL .TO[edit]

The description of "URL shortener TO./ NanoURL" probably needs some work. I can't find info on that service and someone seems to have registered now, so the old links to there are not useful. -- SEWilco (talk) 21:51, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Mail shortening[edit]

I can find very little mention of this term online, and it seems to be well covered here. I suggest a merge from Mail shortening to this article. Top Jim (talk) 09:59, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't see it covered in the current version of this article, and from the description of the functionality it would seem more pertinent to address munging. But in any case, before mentioning the term in either article and redirecting the entry there, reliable sources should be cited to show that "mail shortening" is an established, widely used term. Regards, HaeB (talk) 12:00, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, went ahead and merged before I saw this reply. Good point. I'll re-word the merged section, since I can't find any mention of the term in WP:Reliable sources. Top Jim (talk) 12:28, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Bad links[edit]

The link "Comparison of URL Shortening services SearchEngineLand, April 2009" leads to a very shady page! Most of the "services" analyzed by that page are dead or have been taken over by hungry marketers. Someone please review this link! This —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Two links in description?[edit]

Why would the intro paragraph have two short links to this page? Why not just one, or with the second being a or tinyurl link? Seems puzzling. --X883 (talk) 23:14, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

It was added by in this revision to "show that several short urls can lead to the same page." It has been removed as of this revision. I thought about re-adding the second link, but it seems unnecessary. One link each on multiple services shows the same thing as two links on one service. Perhaps a second example from a different URL could be used, like you suggested. (talk) 07:44, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


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I hope this has helped. I think only a few more references will permit the last remaining tag at the head of the article to be removed. Some indications of where these are needed have already been flagged in the text. I found it an interesting article, and I hope I haven't corrupted anything. After as substantial an edit as this it is probably wise if someone with a specialist knowledge goes through it again, just to check. Richard asr (talk) 16:01, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

What about,, etc. ?[edit]

Dear Wikipedia contributors,

receive a respectful greeting. Lately, services provided by certain websites such as,, etc. are getting very popular. They shorten URLs to redirect to some intermediate web pages in order to advertise them and the publisher gets money in exchange. I see no section about it here so I think it is a good idea someone with enough knowledge about it add it.

Thanks in advance!!!

George Rodney Maruri Game (talk) 00:13, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Earlier example[edit]

V3 offered, &* addresses as early as September 1997 (See foot of page.) One could argue that this could be considered the "first notable URL shortening service" (currently attributed to five-years-later TinyURL.) Note the statistics from the Apr 1999 capture, clocking over half a million shortened URLs with 14 million redirects per week. (talk) 15:46, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

URL corruption[edit] is seizing control of my laptop while I am on Wikipedia & Wiktionary, turning normal URLs into extremely long ones that don't work. I don't know where to find help on how to cure this. --Pawyilee (talk) 01:39, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Other features. And feature comparison of URL shorteners.[edit]

1) It should be in the lede that most of these services create a random URL. eg jO3u6

2) Some do not have the option of a user defined string as shown in the lede: no, TinyURL yes.

3) Some allow the extending of the short URL with subpages. no, TinyURL yes.

4), can only be a Google Map, can only be a YouTube video. It should mention that this is a security feature, as the user knows which website it links to.

QuentinUK (talk) 14:12, 17 January 2015 (UTC) link redirection[edit]

Why does the Wikipedia page for redirect to this general article? It seems inappropriate, partly because only five sentences in the entire article are actually about, and partly because it conflates - or at least gives the impression of conflating - URL shortening with the service, which is far from being reality. Nmgyrl (talk) 17:26, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

EL: blocked link[edit]

It should look like this but the link is blocked:

==External links==

* Directories:
** {{Dmoz|Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/Hosted_Components_and_Services/Redirects/|URL redirection and shortening}}
** []
* Articles:
** [ Comparison of URL Shortening Services], [[SearchEngineLand]]. April 2009.
** Nesbitt, Scott (7 February 2010). [ "Shorter Is Sweeter: A Look at URL Shorteners"]. [[]].

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[[Category:Uniform Resource Locator]]
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[[Category:URL-shortening services]]

 —User 000 name 20:00, 14 November 2015 (UTC)