Google, Facebook Going Into URL Shortening

December 16th, 2009 at 12:00 am

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URL shortening has become quite popular nowadays mainly because of Twitter and micro blogging in general. The need for shorter links becomes all the more important as people use Tweets and short messages to communicate online. It has been a phenomenon that has even caught the attention of other online giants.

Google and Facebook are now getting into the bandwagon of the URL shortening business. Google has recently launched its own Google URL Shortener which is currently available in the updated version of the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner. Reports say that Facebook is also trying to come up with its own version of making compact URL’s.

Along with shortening URL’s come the issue of spamming. It seems that it becomes easier for spammers to hide malicious sites behind shortened URL’s to do their dirty deeds. This is something that the Google URL Shortener is said to try to avoid. This new URL shortening tool from Google, according to its blog post, employs the technology in its Web searches to automatically check for malicious sites and spam that may want to hide in shortened URL’s. The new Google tool would also provide alerts and warnings in case such instances are detected.

In the case of Facebook, only their plans for such a service remains known. How they may be able to ensure that it is secure and safe would be another thing. Even Twitter has been known to be a hotbed for spam and phishing scams largely because of shortened URL’s. Twitter users have learned not to click on every shortened URL links they get on every Tweet they receive just to avoid them. But the case of its use with Google and Facebook would be another matter altogether.