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I must admit, I’m getting tired of all the newfangled URL shorteners appearing now. I blame it all on Twitter.

In the old days it was Tinyurl and a few other struggling upstarts trying to compete for space in the URL shortening arena. Of course, there was no money in URL shortening so it was just a service to help webmasters who wanted a short URL – largely to help affiliate marketers mask their affiliate IDs and conceal the fact that they were sending their site visitors to another site to make a quick buck. But things have changed.

Twitter has made the URL shortener a necessity and not just a choice. While no marketer is obligated to use Twitter, not to do so is to miss out on a growing opportunity. I think it’s here to stay and will likely become an important part of doing business online. But you have to communicate in 140 characters or less.

Since Twitter has asked us all to share our favorite links online in 140 characters or less, there have been a ton of new URL shorteners appear on the scene to help us do that. The best ones offer link tracking so you can see how many clicks you are getting on those links. And now savvy webmasters are using those URL shortening services on their own websites.

Recently, Google announced their own URL shortening service – Goo.gl – which can only be used on its own site. And now, the latest, Youtu.be. Doug Caverly recommends using it for YouTube videos. I don’t know. Do we really need another one?

I’m all for social media in any of its forms, and YouTube is one of the best social media websites around, but what if they all had their own URL shorteners? How silly would that be?

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