HootSuite announces a choice of URL shorteners in the social media dashboard — Ow.ly is now a fully redirected URL without a frame, and the newly-added Ht.ly will present the link with the social bar allowing easy Re-Tweets and sharing. Both Ow.ly and Ht.ly options include full statistics, storage for photos and files, malware protection, and 1-click messaging with the Hootlet tool.Vancouver, CANADA – April 27, 2010 — In the character-limited web of micro-updates, instant blog posts, and status messages, URL shorteners have grown from a simple utility into a critical tool for a variety of reasons ranging from vanity and branding to click-through statistics.
Popular social media dashboard tool HootSuite allows users to update Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks from one web interface, and lets users shorten links using the built-in Ow.ly URL shrinker. Using Ow.ly to manage URLs provides businesses and organizations with important statistical analysis to see which Twitter messages generate clicks-throughs.
The links were/are presented with an opt-out “social bar” which provided options to Retweet, spread to more networks, add a rating, search Twitter, view popular links, and more. With changing desires in the marketplace, HootSuite now offers users a choice of URL shorteners — Ow.ly will change to simply a fully redirected URL without a frame, and the newly-added Ht.ly, which will continue to present the link with the social bar.
Fully-Loaded or Lightweight
Both Ow.ly and Ht.ly options include full statistics, including accurate click-throughs (with bot filtering), custom date ranges, regional breakdowns, and exportable reports. Further, both options include handy storage for photos and files, which you can easily attach to Twitter messages.
Ht.ly with the social bar is best suited for marketers seeking to amplify their messages by encouraging users to spread links across social networks and share with friends.
Example of a link shortened with Ht.ly - note the Social Bar
Ow.ly is best suited for users who just need the basics — a short link and statistics.
Example of a link shortened with Ow.ly - note fully-redirected URL w/o frame
Fast, Reliable & Safe
Ow.ly is among the top 5 most used URL shorteners on the web and rated as a top performer. Technology industry news source, TechCrunch, in a study with Pingdom.com, rated Ow.ly as top choice of URL shorteners: “When both the reliability and speed rankings are combined, ow.ly and bit.ly tie for first place overall …” Research bureau Watchmouse keeps real-time status charts for popular URL shorteners and verifies Ow.ly’s performance as well as worldwide usage trends.
Further, Ow.ly and Ht.ly also prevent dissemination of shortened URLs that disguise nasty, suspicious links by checking URLs with the Google Malware/Phishing list and present web surfers with a warning message when a page is suspected to contain harmful scripts or scams.
Custom Short URLs
Up next, HootSuite will be adding the Ow.ly Pro service to provide custom URL shorteners for businesses who purchase “vanity” URLs. These URLs can reflect company branding through creative domain names like many major web brands.
For example, Twitter recently announced the addition of a custom URL shortener twt.tl, Google also uses a custom goo.gl (from Greenland) which also creates QR codes, WordPress uses wp.me, and Facebook uses fb.me (both .me URLS are from Montenegro).
The URL shortening trend has created an interesting business opportunity for domain name providers who market the two-character codes from far-flung countries – such as: .im (Isle of Mann), .tv Tuvalu, .fm Federated States of Micronesia, and .ly Libya – to companies seeking memorable and short branded domain names.
Custom URL signup: http://ow.ly/pro
Blog announcement: http://blog.hootsuite.com/htly-owly
Media Kit (with contact info): http://blog.hootsuite.com/media
Malware protection: http://blog.hootsuite.com/hootsuite-fights-malware-phishing/
Choose your URL shortener Ow.ly or Ht.ly