Thursday, December 25, 2008

LongURLPlease – Know beforehand where short URLs take you

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This week I wrote about a number of short URL tools. This time I bring you a tool that does the reverse - it lengthens short URLs so that you get to view the actual URL which was shortened, before clicking on the link.

The problem with short URLs is that you have no idea where they take you until you click on them. Is the URL useful? Is it safe to view? Will it be offensive? Any clues that you might have got from the actual URL are lost when they are replaced by a short URL like http://tinyurl.com/xyz.

Long URL Please is an experimental Firefox plug-in that works in the background when every web page loads, and replaces short URLs with the proper ones, so that you can tell exactly where links will take you. Take a look at the screen shot below.

Without Long URL Please installed, you see this

without-longurlplease-installed

After installing Long URL Please, you see this

with-longurlplease-installed

The Tinyurl link was automatically replaced by the actual URL. So even before you click on it, you learn that it will take you to YouTube. This is great to sites like Twitter where everybody uses short URLs.

Long URL Please supports the following 30 short URL services so far: adjix.com, bit.ly, dwarfurl.com, ff.im, idek.net, is.gd, ln-s.net, loopt.us, ping.fm, piurl.com, piurl.com, poprl.com, qlnk.net, reallytinyurl.com, rubyurl.com, short.ie, smallr.com, snipr.com, snipurl.com, snurl.com, tinyurl.com, tr.im, twurl.nl, ub0.cc, ur1.ca, url.ie, urlx.ie, xrl.us, yep.it, zi.ma, zurl.ws

1 comment:

  1. Useful article, another way of previewing short urls is http://www.expandmyurl.com particularly good if you don't want your page cluttered with short urls lengthening automatically

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