• Libyan Domain Registry Shares Its Views On The .ly Hoopla, But Questions Remain

    As you may have read here earlier this week, the Libyan domain registry raised quite a ruckus by suddenly assuming control over the domain name, abruptly taking down a URL shortening service cooked up by Ben Metcalfe and Violet Blue. now states that they tried to contact the previous owners of repeatedly, to no avail, and that the domain was singled out because of… Read More

  • Raises $9 Million Series B, Still Growing Like Crazy Raises $9 Million Series B, Still Growing Like Crazy

    It looks like short links are here to stay, at least for a while longer., the largest independent link shortening service out there, closed a $9 million Series B financing. The round was led by RRE Ventures, with AOL Ventures also becoming a new investor. Existing investors betaworks, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, SV Angel, Founders Fund, and a few angels participated as… Read More

  • Trouble In Clever Domain Land: And Others Risk Losing Theirs, HootSuite (with its service), and perhaps even could well be at risk of having their domain names taken away by the Libyan government. Ben Metcalfe blogs that his domain name was recently seized by (the domain registry and controlling body for the Libyan domain space) because the content of his website, at least in their opinion, was in… Read More

  • Clickabit, Now. Now, Later? Clickabit, Now. Now, Later?

    Today on their blog, URL shortening service unveiled a cute new feature: Clickabit. It’s a Twitter account that surfaces some of the “surprising and bizarre” links being shortened and shared across their network. But the feature also hints at something we’ve been talking about for a while: Now. “We’re currently hard at work on several systems… Read More

  • A Nice Side Effect Of The Tweet Button: Real URLs Back In The Stream

    A Nice Side Effect Of The Tweet Button: Real URLs Back In The Stream

    The link shortening revolution that has taken place the past few years has been interesting for a number of reasons. But one of the most interesting aspects is that we’re all now trained to click on a URL even if we have no idea what it actually is. Sure, you may be visiting, but in Twitter’s stream, it has been hidden as or the like. Read More

  • Rolls Out Improved Real-Time Analytics Dashboard For Enterprise Users

    Popular link-shortening service is giving its enterprise customers a new analytics dashboard today, allowing large publishers to better track the distribution of their links on a per-story basis. The benefits of the new dashboard are obvious — publishers and companies with large presences on Twitter and Facebook can use the dashboard to see which of their articles and social… Read More

  • Twitter Hints At Content Recommendation Service With New Link Shortener

    Twitter Hints At Content Recommendation Service With New Link Shortener

    Today, Twitter has expanded the testing of its own URL shortner — which is now using the domain. The expansion (which will eventually be available to all Twitter users) is interesting in terms of what it means for the URL shortening ecosystem. But it also should be interesting from a broader perspective to the entire ecosystem because it opens up some new possibilities, such as… Read More

  • Links Now At 4.7 Billion Clicks A Month As Yahoo, MySpace And Others Go Pro

    There are over 150 million clicks on links each day. The amount of data running through the service is massive, and continuing to grow at an incredible pace. But we’ve known that for a while. Just as impressive may be what is doing with its premium service, Pro. Today, the service is announcing some of the huge names across the web have signed up to use Pro. Read More

  • Is Or Just Awesome?

    I’m not saying there’s necessarily something nefarious going on here, but judge for yourself. In their source code, has the word “awesome” as one of their meta keywords. This may just seem like some kooky programmer having some fun — until you remember that one of their main rivals is a another URL shortening service called Read More

  • What Knows About The Realtime Web

    Today during Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, Hilary Mason,’s lead data scientist took the stage and offered up some interesting data about the service. Her focus was what our data usage says about the realtime web. Below, I’ll paste all the slides, but here are some of the key data points she gave: Read More

  • Seesmic, TweetMeme Say Twitter Ecosystem Is Just Fine, Thank You

    Yesterday we showed a teaser of our conversation with Loic Le Meur of Seesmic, and Nick Halstead of Tweetmeme. Here’s the full video, in two parts. This is a debate around the recent decision by Twitter to compete directly with third party developers who are making Twitter applications that Twitter has deemed to be mere “hole fillers.” A variety of third party apps are… Read More

  •'s Borthwick: Twitter, Thanks For The Ride's Borthwick: Twitter, Thanks For The Ride

    On Wednesday at Twitter’s Chirp conference, CEO Evan Williams released another bomb during the wrap-up Q&A session: Twitter is working on creating it’s own link shortener for Once again, in the space of a week, Twitter declared it was moving into an area previously occupied by another company in the Twitter eco-system, in this case, which grew on the back… Read More

  • Sorry, Twitter Confirms It Will Launch Its Own Link Shortener

    Sorry, Twitter Confirms It Will Launch Its Own Link Shortener

    Another hole is about to be filled in Twitter’s product features. CEO Evan Williams just confirmed plans to launch its own link shortener on stage during the final Q&A session at Chirp. HE noted that it would be “stupid” not to add native link-shortening capabilities into Twitter, since most Twitter clients already have that feature. “We want to solve that… Read More

  • Links Get Clicked 3.4 Billion Times A Month, New Features Coming

    The default link shortener on Twitter,, just keeps getting bigger. In March, 3.4 billion links were clicked on, up from 2.7 billion in February and only 87 million a year ago. Yesterday was a record day for, with 147 million clicks (see chart). Even though Twitter still dominates, more than half of all links are encoded somewhere besides … Read More

  • URL Shorteners Slow Down The Web – Especially Facebook's

    URL Shorteners Slow Down The Web – Especially Facebook's

    It’s hard to imagine a Web sans URL shortening services nowadays but you can rest assured that they’re here to stay – for better or worse. Question is: how do the likes of, TinyURL and score in terms of speed and availability? That’s exactly what Dutch startup WatchMouse sought to find out. Read More

  • Existing Investors Put Another $1.5 Million Into, the biggest link shortening service around, just raised another modest $1.5 million in convertible debt from all of its existing investors on a pro rata basis, including betaworks, Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech, Ron Conway, Mitch Kapor, Chris Sacca, Howard Lindzon, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. The funding amount appeared in a new SEC filing and I confirmed it with betaworks… Read More

  • Welcome To TechCrunch Or

    The web has no shortage of URL shorteners. In fact, there are so many that they’re all kind of blending together and I have no idea where to turn beyond the de-facto one Twitter uses, But today, a new one has piqued my interest. ShadyURL (made by Wonder-Tonic) is awesome because well, it creates shady URLs. Rather than focusing on making a URL as tiny as possible to spread on a… Read More

  • Getting A Handle On The Size Of The Realtime Web And The Twitter Ecosystem

    The Realtime Web is a hard thing to measure because it doesn’t exist only on traditional Web pages. It also exists in stream readers and desktop clients and mobile phones. And it is not just Twitter and Facebook. It is also and TweetDeck and Seesmic and Tweeite and realtime search on Google and Bing, and the list goes on and on. So while we can look at comScore and see that… Read More

  • Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics or How To Get Under John Borthwick's Skin

    There are lies, damned lies, and statistics, as Mark Twain once said. A couple days ago, I wrote a post titled, “What Happened To’s Market Share” after I noticed some new statistics on TweetMeme which suggested that the market share for short URLs has shifted in the past few months and is actually diversifying as more and more short URLs inundate the Web. John… Read More

  • What Happened To's Market Share?

    It seems like everyone and their mother now has their own URL shortening service, or at least their own short domain. Short URLs have almost become a branding thing. But as the use of short links keeps going up, the market share among different URL shortening services is fragmenting. The biggest URL shortening service is still, with more than 2 billion links a month, but it now only… Read More