YouTube Now Has a URL Shortener
YouTube has launched its own URL shortener, but it is not like other URL-shorteners, because it can only be used specifically with YouTube videos. This way, YouTube says, when you click on one, you know you’re going to a YouTube video no matter what. That should certainly cut down on the likelihood that you could be going to a malicious site.
YouTube’s URL-shortener is at Youtu.be, although if you go there, you will just be taken to the YouTube home page. You can use the shortener manually though. If you take a video URL and replace the part that says "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=" with "http://youtu.be/" and you will have your short URL.
"It’s all the rage: link shorteners to ensure that those useful URLs you’re sharing don’t take up too much precious character count while also giving you an inkling of what you’re about to click on," says Engineering Manager Vijay Karunamurthy.
"Also, because the link contains the ID of the video you’re going to see, developers can do interesting things like show you thumbnails, embed the video directly, or track how a video is spreading in real-time," adds Karunamurthy.
Users can use the AutoShare feature on YouTube to link their YouTube account to other social networks. This way, whenever the user "favorites" a video on YouTube, the action will get syndicated to the other networks. People on those networks will see the shortened version of the YouTube URL.