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The 3 best URL shortening services

They do more than just save space

Twitter has been instrumental in increasing the popularity of URL shortening service, such as TinyURL. However, many offer more than just a shortening service. Here's our 3 favourite URL shortening services that offer more.

Cli.gs

Geotargeted destination URLs
One unique Cligs feature is what the site calls 'Right Cligs' - or the ability to create alternative URLs based on a visitor's country by creating 'rules' that tell Cligs, for example, that if the visitor is from the UK, send them to a different URL instead.

View a short tutorial about geo-targeted destinations.

Real-time analytics
Cligs keeps track of the following: hits time, ie when your traffic came in; geographical location of your visitors; search engine bots or which sites have found your links; Twitter and FriendFeed mentions; blog links and comments; web links; del.icio.us saves and referral statistics.

Tools
Additional Cligs tools include: a Wordpress plugin that automatically posts your Wordpress blog posts to Twitter when you publish them; a bookmarklet that lets you shorten a URL and/or post to Twitter; a Firefox extension; and an iGoogle gadget that lets you create shortened URLs right from iGoogle or Gmail without leaving the site.

Idek.net

Bookmarks
Idek has a bookmark tool that makes shortening URLs on the fly a lot easier.

By visiting Idek's dedicate page, you can drag-and-drop a link to your browser toolbar.

When you visit a page with a long URL that you'd like to make shorter, you click the Idek.net link, which automatically grabs the URL and the title of the page and lets you write up a few words about the link, then sends the tweet instantly to your Twitter account.

Metrics
For every URL you create with Idek.net, the site tracks a number of metrics, including: total number of clicks; clicks per minute/hour/day; clicks per hour of day; clicks by day of week; number of tweets; number of tweets of the URL translated to other popular shortening services; and more. To view the metrics for any Idek.net URL, add /s to the shortened link.

Other features
Idek has a plugin for Wordpress and plays nicely with 301 redirects. It also has an open API so you can tweet directly from Idek.

See also: Google launches goo.gl URL shortener

  1. They do more than just save space
  2. Cli.gs and Idek.net

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