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Happy 1st Birthday, You Amazing URL-shortener, You!

July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday!

On July 14, 2008, a huge rival to the industry giant, TinyURL, was born. And today, we celebrate the 1st birthday of what has become somewhat of a standard in the Internet world, Twitter adopting it as its second URL-child, developing and implementing amazing real-time stats, and not becoming just another short-lived web fad.

But in fact, it has been an amazing year! Going from only about 5,000 US visitors a month, to just above 4,000,o00! Most of that huge increase is due to Twitter switching its default URL-shortener from TinyURL to, which, when combined with its sophisticated real-time link stats which let you could know about who was clicking, how often, and from where, and very user-friendly interface, makes so much sense. Also, is a full five characters shorter, which makes those “Twitter-link-whores” VERY happy. Here’s a chart of unique visitors to and

In response,’s summer intern, named “Steven,” made a blog post about it.

In that post, he said that there will be a special celebratory logo on their site, in the upper right-hand corner, and it looks like this:

Second, you can now prefix any long URL (including the “http://”) with “” and be redirected to the main page with the link automatically shortened for you. This makes it even easier to use – if there’s a page you want to create a link for, just jump to your browser’s address bar, add “” to the beginning of the current URL, hit enter, and you’re good to go.
So for example, say you wanted to shorten First, visit the homepage. Then, add”” to the very beginning of the URL in the address bar and press “Enter.”  You then get redirected to this page where you can copy it and (if you have a free account on tweet the link from there. As simple as that!

Third, now has a site-wide status message that will appear at the top of every page when they have something important to announce, whether it be scheduled server maintenance, a known issue with the site, or a new feature.

And finally, they’ve integrated “Large Font Technology” into the redesign of the info page (which you can get to by adding a “+” to the end of any link). It’s now much easier to read the click counts for both your personal links for a given long link and the shared link for that same long link.

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