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Google & Facebook Simultaneously Unveil URL Shorteners

Gordon Kelly


Google & Facebook Simultaneously Unveil URL Shorteners

If you've been following web developments over the last year you'll know URL shorteners - those things that turn


into http://bit.ly/timeforcake - have been big news. You'll also know they make very little money and providers keep going out of business, so why would these two juggernauts get involved?

Late yesterday both Google and Facebook joined the tribe of URL shortener lemmings with the rather cleverly named 'Goo.gl' and 'Fb.me'. Why? Because both can afford to run them at losses while making them the default tools for their services.

Currently neither goo.gl or fb.me are particularly usable with the former only "currently available for Google products and not for broader consumer use" while fb.me simply works as a link to the Facebook homepage. That said, current URL shortener leader bit.ly (which also just opened at 'Pro' service for publishers) must be starting to sweat a bit.

In related news Google has begun a limited roll-out of its property search functionality into Google Maps UK. The feature, which is not showing up for everyone (read: me), has added the option to filter 'Real Estate' under the 'More...' tab in maps. Predictably enough, this is currently limited to London.

Dear Rightmove and Prime Location, please join the sweating-over-your-future-queue-behind-bit.ly...




Google Maps UK Property via Pocket Lint


December 15, 2009, 9:37 pm

goo.gl will be superlatively useful for Google Maps and/or StreetView hyperlinks, I use them a lot for meeting communications and have to constantly flick between Google Maps, email and tinyurl.com to prevent the stupidly long url from causing havoc!


December 15, 2009, 9:44 pm

By using domain shorteners such as .gl (Greenland) .ly (Libya) .me (Montenegro) are there any privacy risks. I.e. is the site owner under less 'data' restrictions than they might be under a .eu .com or .uk?


December 15, 2009, 11:18 pm

@Peter: no they are not tied to the countries at all any domain can be used or registered in any country and used for whatever (thats why all the scam sites are able to use anything they like to look more genuine and a lot of people fall for it and give their details out).


December 16, 2009, 1:51 pm

Way to get around content blocking at work!?


December 16, 2009, 6:47 pm

@WyWyWyWy: no it just will act as a redirection link like the example given in the article, so if the site's blocked it still will be

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