TinyURL is a shortening web service URL , which provides short aliases for redirecting long URLs . Kevin Gilbertson , a web developer , launched the service in January 2002 [2] so it would be able to post links in newsgroups postings which frequently had long, cumbersome addresses.


The TinyURL homepage includes a form that is used to submit a long URL for shortening. For each URL entered, the server adds a new alias in its hashed database and returns a short URL such as https://tinyurl.com/2unshin the following page. If the URL has been requested, TinyURL will return the existing alias rather than create a duplicate entry. The short URL forwards users to the long URL.

TinyURL offers an API that allows applications to automatically create short URLs. This is done by simply reading the result returned from tinyurl.com/api-create.php?url=URLENCODED_SOURCE_URL.

Short URL aliases are seen to be useful because they are easier to write down, remember or pass around, are less error-prone to write, and also where IRC channel topics, email signatures, microblogs , certain printed newspapers ( such as the .net Magazine or even Nature ), and email clients that imposes line breaks on messages at a certain length. People posting is Twitter extensively make use of Shortened URLs to keep Their tweets dans le Service-imposed 140 character limit (Twitter HAD used TinyURL up to 2009. Then it switched to bit.ly ; [3] now Twitter uses its own t.co domain for this purpose).

Starting in 2008, TinyURL allows users to create custom, more meaningful aliases. This means that a user can create descriptive URLs rather than a randomly generated address. For example, https://tinyurl.com/wp-tinyurl.

The ability to preview the full URL is present at TinyURL. If the user has previously made previews or visits a URL under preview.tinyurl.com in place of tinyurl.com, the site will display the target URL and a hyperlink to it, instead of redirecting to it automatically. This feature is available at the TinyURL website, but the alternative shortened URL is available at the time of creation. [4]


Main article: Shortening URL

The popularity of TinyURLs influenced the creation of at least 100 similar websites. [5] Most are simply alternative alternatives.


The TinyURL method of allocating shorter web addresses has inspired an action known as TinyURL-whacking. Random letters and numbers can be found after the first forward slash in an attempt to hit them. [6] [2]

See also

  • Redirect URL
  • Shortening URL
  • Bitly


  1. Jump up^ “Tinyurl.com Site Info” . Alexa Internet . Retrieved 2014-04-01 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Katie Dean (March 16, 2004). “Honey, I Shrunk the URL” . Wired . Retrieved November 17, 2016 . So the 24-year-old Web developer from Blaine, Minnesota, launched TinyURL.com in January 2002, a free website that converts huge strings of characters into more manageable snippets.
  3. Jump up^ Weisenthal, Joe (May 6, 2009). “Twitter Switches from TinyURL to Bit.ly” . Business Insider . Retrieved February 15, 2013 .
  4. Jump up^ “How to Preview Shortened URLs (TinyURL, bit.ly, is.gd, and more)” . 2009-04-11 . Retrieved 2014-05-30 .
  5. Jump up^ 90+ Shortening Services URL,Mashable.Com, 8 January 2008, page 84
  6. Jump up^ New Scientist, vol. 179, issue 2404, 19 July 2003, page 84