Posted on January 10, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer


I was posting a link from the Washington Post to Twitter this weekend, and needed to shorten the link URL, to fit into Twitter's 140-character space limit.  In the past, I've used for this service, my favorite one of many URL-shortening services.  Normally, instead of a URL that includes the original domain name and title of the article I'm posting (e.g., which takes up most of my space limit, I end up with something short and sweet (e.g., which only uses about 20 precious character spaces of my 140 available.


Well, this time, when shortening my Washington Post article, I ended up with this URL:  It's still 20 characters, but is clearly a Washington Post URL.  Upon further investigation, I found that organizations who have signed up for's "pro" service have their URLs shortened to a custom shortened URL.


At first I panicked.  My favorite reason for using is that you can copy and past any URL into your browser window and add the "+" (plus) symbol at the end of it, and quickly view the traffic on that URL.  Much to my relief, I found that the service is still available on these custom shortened URL.  Very cool. 


It works on Facebook, too.  For example, if I want to create a shortened URL for Coca-Cola's photo page on Facebook, I end up with this:  If I post that on Twitter or somewhere else, I can easily track how many people have used that link by using this link: (notice the plus sign).  These statistics do not reflect how many people have visited that page, but specifically number of people who have followed the link I just created to that page.


The page also lists Peps (, Yahoo! (, Foursquare (, and C-Span ( among its list of famous early adopters.


Also see:





Jennifer Pointer


Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. 

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