Bram Pitoyo, Interlude, Links

A Character Length Comparison Of Various URL Shortening Services

When you want to utilize every bit of that 140-character Tweet limit to communicate your latest find or endeavor, every character matters. So I thought I’d compile a character count of most URL shortening services out there and give you a round, hard number of just how short did the developer mean when he said “short”?

Feel like I’m missing something, or have a service to add to the list? Leave a comment, Tweet, or Email me.

The list will be ordered in ascending order, from the lowest to highest count, and will be presented in this format:

(Service name)
(Snarky commentary, whenever appropriate)
(Shortened URL format)
(Character Count)

Here we go.

tr.im
The Serious Contender
http://tr.im/XX
15
(Admittedly, not going to stay this way for very long)

is.gd
The Tried-And-True
http://is.gd/XXXX
17

Shrinkify
http://s7y.us/XXX
17

HURL
http://hurl.ws/XXX
18

Jmp2.net
http://jmp2.net/XX
18

2BIG
http://2big.at/XXX
18

twurl
The Fine Local Product
http://twurl.cc/XXX
19

Metamark
http://xrl.us/XXXXX
19

Tiny.pl
http://tiny.pl/XXXX
19

The Make-Up-Your-Own-Keyword
bit.ly
http://bit.ly/XXXXXX
20

POPrl
http://poprl.com/XXX
20

QurlyQ
http://qurlyq.com/XX
20

PiURL
http://piurl.com/XXX
20

Tnij.org
http://tnij.org/XXXX
20

FON Get Simple
http://fon.gs/XXXXXX
20

Bloat.me
http://bloat.me/XXXX
20

abbrr
http://abbrr.com/XXXX
21

Knol Me
http://knol.me/XXXXXX
21

Snipurl / Snurl / Snipr
http://snurl.com/XXXXX
22

The Twitter-Tracker Tweetburner
http://twurl.nl/XXXXXX
22

moourl
http://moourl.com/XXXXX
23

RubyURL
http://rubyurl.com/XXXX
23

Urlenco.de
http://urlenco.de/XXXXX
23

TinyURL
The Granddaddy
http://tinyurl.com/XXXXXX
25

dwarfurl
http://dwarfurl.com/XXXXXX
26

Standard

7 thoughts on “A Character Length Comparison Of Various URL Shortening Services

  1. Pingback: Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for September 17 » Silicon Florist

  2. Great effort and cool idea, Bram!

    So, isn’t the basic premise of all these services that they use the least characters possible based on what URLs they have created previously? So that would doom every service to constantly get longer and longer, and might cause more and more services to keep springing up with new short domains.

    As you’ve shown, there’s many more services than I knew about. Seems like that’s the way it’ll be for now.

  3. Mason,

    There seems to be two ways in which these shortening services generate their URL’s.

    – Progressive, that services like tr.im and twurl.cc uses. Progressive means that the number always go up, but always in a certain order. I.e.:
    twurl.cc/aa
    twurl.cc/ab
    twurl.cc/ac
    etc.

    However, if you plug in the same URL again in the future, it will generate a new shortened URL. Therefore: not the most efficient.

    – Randomized permalink, that services like TinyURL and bit.ly use by default. Plug in two separate URLs, and you’ll get two totally different shortened URLs that aren’t in order. Usually, the result would be between 5 to 6 characters. However, plug in the same URL again in the future, and you’ll get the same shortened URL. This is why I call this method “permalink.”

    And you’re right. Services will get longer and longer with more shortened contents. Good to know that we can use the ones that are less well known but have smaller character-count first, before jumping to the obvious.

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