, the best URL shortener, now with competition

At least one person commenting on yesterday’s New York Times article about Google’s service that might compete with doesn’t understand the importance of URL shorteners. They’re necessary because of Twitter.

On an unmoderated forum, that person would have been attacked for being ignorant and for having such strong views about abolishing URL shortening services. What I’m concerned about are people’s issues with linking to spam and malicious webpages. Thankfully, has three features that reduce the likelihood that you click on a link that takes you to a malicious website:

  1. The new “white label” service. will only take you to pages on the New York Times website.
  2. The + sign. Append the + sign to any link and be taken to the website where the link’s final destination will be listed.
  3. The sidebar. Keep open the sidebar (works in all browsers) to discover the destination of shortened URLs present on any webpage.

One goal of is to “protect users from malware and phishing pages”


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