The idea of URL shortening dates to at least 2001.
The first notable URL shortening service,
TinyURL, was launched in 2002.
Its popularity influenced the creation of at least 100 similar
Most are simply domain alternatives Initially Twitter automatically
translated long URLs usingTinyURL.
As of 2009, it uses bit.ly.
In May 2009 .tk, which previously was used to generate memor
able domains via URL redirection, launched tweak.tk,
which generates very short URLs such as
http://mxtux.tk/ (which redirects to
On 10 August 2009, the tr.im a notice shortening service
announced that "[s]tatistics can no
longer be considered reliable, or reliably available going forward"
that they were shuttering the generation of new shortened URLs,
but assured existing tr.im short URLs would "continue to redirect,
and will do so until at least December 31, 2009". A blog post
on the site attributed
this move to several factors, including the lack of suitable revenue
generation mechanisms to cover ongoing hosting and maintenance costs,
lack of interest among possible purchasers of the service,
and Twitter's default use of the bit.ly shortener.
This blog post also questioned whether other shortening services can
successfully monetize URL
shortening in the longer term.
A few days later, tr.im reversed itself on this move,
announcing it would resume all operations "going forward,
while we continue to consider our options
in regards to tr.im's future" 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
In December 2009, the URL shortener TO./ NanoURL was launched
by .TO. The
service creates a URL address which looks like http://to./xxxx,
where xxxx represents
acombination of random numbers and letters.
NanoURL currently generates the shortest URLs of all
URL shortening services,
because it is hosted on a top level domain (the one of Tonga).
This rare form of URL may cause problems with some browsers,
which interpret this as a search term and
look it up on a search engine, instead of opening it.
On 14 December 2009, Google
announced aservice called Google URL
which is currently only available for use through
products (such as Google Toolbar and
It does, however, have two extensions (standard and lite versions)
for Google Chrome.
On 21 December 2009, Google
also announced a service
called Youtube URL Shortener