A number of the leading web properties have been adding URL shortners to their product suite over the last year since Tr.im was almost closed. The warning sent off alarm bells with companies as what would happen if the service they were using went bankrupt or the company decided to limit server resources or even change direction and sell their users data?
There is small signs on places like Twitter that Microsoft staff have started using Binged.it as their URL shortener but they are not the first nor the last company to build their own platform. It appears to be used just for internal purposes at this stage more for marketing and social media purposes.
As SeattlePI pointed out it was actually Michael Gillett of My Microsoft Life who actually noticed the tweet, but even then it was tweeted a week earlier. With so many people watching Twitter and Bing, how can no-one else notice this earlier, and a congratulations to Michael for finding the needle in the haystack.
Since the story was first published by SeattlePI, there has been some issues that have been corrected as it has been corrected since reported that when you visit http://binged.it it used to take you to http://Bit.ly but this has now been addressed and you are taken to http://www.Bing.com.
Since this had only just been changed, we thought that we could check if they had done it correctly. The small point that they have still not addressed is that they setup the redirect process like this.
- http://binged.it (302 response)
- http://bing.com (301 response)
The issue is that there is an extra step involved in the redirection process, and possibly better for other URL shortners is that Bing will get less seo advantage from the backlinks built up in time. We had a quick look at a number of the other leading URL shortener’s and how many others are just for internal/company purposes.
WordPress launched WP.me as part of the WordPress.com free blogging service, where you can just click “get shortlink” and you get your Twitter/Facebook friendly URL. The other benefit is that the URL is less likely to be affected by malicous links because WordPress is very proactive on Spam. The other point about the WP.me is that they are generated from a WordPress.com blog post and not any random URL found online.
So the URL shortening service will be around as long as WordPress is around which gives users much more confidence to start using the service as an alternative. A side point courtesy of Mashable is that WP.me was the only 2 letter .me domain in the world before Facebook FB.me was launched.
Google not one to miss out on a new toy has launched its own URL shortner Goo.gl but similar to WordPress it is only using it for its product suite and not using it for public URLs. It is slowly been rolled out across Google’s extensive list of products but two of the most requested products to have the URL shortener is Google Docs and Google Analytics. The URLs these products generate can fill several lines and a shortened version would prove very useful. A small indication of how likely the product will be made public anytime soon is that the copyright year is still set to 2009, where every other Google property has been updated to 2010. This means that a small amount of resources are being made on the public face of the product and is likely being allocated to getting the backend system right.
Google advises that its url shortener system is built around 3 key principals: stability, security, speed
Facebook had started the rollout of FB.me suited for sharing URLs, and it could also be used a shortener for accessing Facebook, so you could type in Fb.me/cocacola to access the Coke fan page. But when we tested it while writing this post it showed an error screen and this url http://www.facebook.com/expand.php?short_key. So it looks like the product is still being tested or might be in the process of being updated?
This is the leading URL shortner and one that has an agreement with Microsoft, and a very close relationship with Twitter. It is even expanding with Bit.ly PRO launched last year that enables companies like Microsoft to have their own branded URLs. Some of the Bit.ly powered domains are :