why 140 url shortner sites will become obsolete.

there’s a big rush to start the be-all-end-all url shortner… but really, do you really need it? does it really add value? it’s great for twitter, but it’s really useless for everything else. i’m not sure if anyone cares if my URL is less than 140 characters unless it’s in a tweet.

twitter could release a paid upgrade for an unlimited character count. wouldn’t that be nice? as an unpaid user, you could only view 140 characters. as a paid viewer, you can read the entire message. this would probably make twitter more useful… and they’d make $$. eventually 140 characters will be obsolete.

btw, i was playing around today and found out that it’s possible to “shorten” a tinyurl URL. they shouldn’t allow this… this totally breaks the user experience of this system. plus, someone could crash their server if they wrote a simple script.

in fact, why would i want to shorten an already shortened URL? i could technically grab an ow.ly URL, squish it with tinyurl, and then try squishing it again with bit.ly. i know this is a corner case, but the whole idea of tinyurls is silly. it only serves twitter. i only like them b/c i like twitter. the question is, will these URL shortners become obsolete if twitter bites the dust in the future?

3 thoughts on “why 140 url shortner sites will become obsolete.

  1. Why would tiny urls become useless? Havent you wished for tiny urls at other places? they could surely find more uses for it? they are a geat oart of online marketing too. Who would be attracted by a link thats half a page long?

  2. URL shorteners are not only useful for twitter. They are potentially easier to copy from a physical magazine rather than a long winded permalink to an online article or resource, I have seen this in one magazine my grandfather reads Computer Active. THe problem I see with URL shortners is the unknown of where they actually lead…

    As for the twitter side of things, I think twitter should add an additional field for a single URL when posting an update, pontentially charging either the owner of the account or the subscriber to be able to click the link?!

  3. Eventually obsolete, but not yet. Sharing links via IM, chat, cell text messages, even plaintext email to older folks will remain useful for the medium term.

    Tinyurl does have a preview feature, which intercepts with a “splash page” showing where the link will go before actually taking you there. It wouldn’t surprise me if other services did likewise.

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