Short URL services seem to be popping up everyday. This week we all got that news that Facbeook and Google are both launching short url services as well. My question is what happens if and when some of them start to go away? They are ment to be disposable urls that are only temporary, but people are using them in ways where they’ll always be around. I even saw some TinyURLs in a book I was reading recently.
Lets say TinyURL can no longer afford to stay open. Obviously the domain wouldn’t just go away and expire, someone would either buy the site or the domain. The same could be said about all the other short url services. We could end up with urls that don’t resolve to anything. URLs that redirect to something malicious instead of the intended site. Hell, someone could even set something up where you have to pay 50 cents to view the URL.
My advice is to never use a short URL service for anything that isn’t just temporary. I know it should go without saying, but from what I’ve been seeing people are treating them like they actually own the url that is generated when in reality they don’t. The book I was reading was using TinyURL when the pages they were linking to were on the book’s official site. That just seems like a dumb move.