URL shortening/redirection services have been around for a while now but twitter seems to be spawning an ever increasing number of them. Originally they provided convenient and practical solutions to the problem of long, complicated URLs being split or mangled in emails or on messageboards, but with twitter they’re a means of including a URL in your message whilst using up as little of the 140-character limit as possible. Indeed, the shorter the better. This means now that the original services, such as TinyURL.com, look positively gargantuan at the side of newer rivals like bit.ly, is.gd and tr.im.
tr.im is one service in particular i’ll take the opportunity to highlight. It’s quickly become my new favourite, not just because of the great name, but because i realised it tracks usage of the links you create. It provides statistics of how often your link has been used, whether it was by a “human” or a bot and what platform/browser they were using. Pretty neat.