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There are many different sites out there that all aim to do one simple thing: converting a long URL into a shorter one. But why would you want to do something like this? I don’t really understand it myself, but in theory, services such as Bit.ly, ShortURL, Is.Gd and others take in a standard URL such as:

http://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=U&start=4&q=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASD&ei=nrMGSq31NcSikAWUpbTiBg&usg=AFQjCNFbQPaIPS5cGQY6rvGQy-2g_7T1pQ

And convert it to something more manageable, such as http://www.bit.ly/ks74js.

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The existence of these sites really exploded when Twitter came onto the scene. With Twitter, you only get 140 characters to post for each ‘tweet’, so concise and precision become the order of the day. Therefore, URL shortening services allows users to be able to share direct links to web sites without putting a strain on the character limit.

I would advance that all Twitter needs to do to alleviate this problem altogether is provide a “link to” option for your Tweet so that you can enter in whatever URL you want and it will just link directly to that site, without you having to type in the URL and wasting precious characters. Isn’t this a more elegant and meaningful solution? Whatever the case, it appears that URL shortening services will continue to prevail so long as Twitter does not innovate in the realm of URL sharing.

Whatever the case, it is then a matter of importance that you get the shortest URL possible, and it doesn’t get any shorter than a service called U.NU! Cutting the long story short, U.NU currently generates the shortest short URL of the bunch out there right now, so consider it one of your tools to use in conjunction with Twitter. Their website offers you a Bookmarklet to make shortening URLs a one-click affair.

If you want a Firefox extension, U.NU does not currently provide a Firefox Addon, so if you want one, you can use Is.Gd, which does have an addon although I recommend using a Bookmarklet when you can to avoid slowing down your browser. Do you have an even shorter URL shortening service than U.NU? Share with the readers in the comment box below.