co Youtube Gets Its Own URL Shortener |

URL shorteners are a dime a dozen. If you don’t what they are, they are a shorter URL that represents a longer URL. The first really popular URL shortening service was Tinyurl, but it has its drawbacks. You can’t track when someone clicks on your links is one.

An example of how an URL shortener works can be found on Tinyurl’s own website:

Turn this URL:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?t
ype=3&campid=5336224516&toolid=10001&customid=tiny-
hp&ext=unicycle&satitle=unicycle

into this tinyURL:

http://tinyurl.com/unicycles

Since Twitter has forced us all to communicate in 140 character soundbites, many other URL shorteners have arrived on the scene, some of them allowing you to track your licks. A few have attempted to offer compensation for using them. But I wouldn’t recommend most of them.

Google introduced its own URL shortener not too long ago. And now, the latest: Youtu.be.

Like Goo.gl, Youtu.be is not for widespread use. The former can only be used for Google products while the latter can only be used for YouTube videos. I guess those are selling points.

I suppose there is benefit in using Youtu.be. It has stability. You know the YouTube brand isn’t going anywhere any time soon. But can you track who’s watching your videos? Can you count clicks and see the effectiveness of your promotions? I see nothing yet that would indicate you can track your clicks. Until that happens, I’m not sure there is a real benefit to using Youtu.be. Other URL shortners, like bit.ly, will allow you to track your clicks.