Bit.ly lowers the bar on URL shortening

With the speed of development in the social media space (especially that ever-growing corner that pertains to Twitter), it’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. When this announcement first hit last week, my initial reaction was, to be frank, that this is just a bit of a gimmick. The news was thus: Bit.ly, the popular URL shortening service… wait for it… just got shorter.

As reported on the mighty Mashable, Bit.ly launched j.mp, offering the exact same shortening service, but now with a discount of two characters. Oh, and you don’t need to worry about this being a separate service: it’s nothing more than a redirect. So if you have a bit.ly url you suddenly find putting the squeeze on your 140 chars, just switch out bit.ly for j.mp. But really, how important is this? At the time, it got banked to the back of my mind and I moved on with my life (well, that bit of it that doesn’t belong to Twitter).

And then, last night I found myself with the problem this service is designed to fix. My Earth-changing Tweet was two over the limit. Within seconds, I amended my bit.ly link and Tweeted on unabated.

Just to spell this out, here’s an example of how this works:

Before:
http://bit.ly/Z8EDw (a whopping 19 characters)

After:
http://j.mp/Z8EDw
(weighing in at an impressive 17 characters)

Oh, and for you naysayers who think a mastery of letters would get you round having to use this service, beware: there will come a time when you may hve 2 eat ur own wrds.

All we need now is someone to crack a way through that pesky ‘http://’. Someone needs to get in bed with Twitter (Bit.ly, are you feeling slutty enough for the job?) and take the throne as the URL shortener of choice, allowing us to free up a further seven characters that the http garbage takes up.

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