Posts Tagged ‘shortener’ Launches URL Shortener That Wants To Be Your Own “Personal Bilboard”

June 14th, 2011 06:06 admin View Comments

Part of the series of music and entertainment related startups backed by Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter, is a URL shortner that hopes to be your own personal billboard. The concept behind is that users can create “toasts,” or their own personalized advertisements for causes, brands or themselves and gain exposure for those toasts by shortening and sharing links using the service (for example). Users can also choose to share other people’s toasts through the site.

Users who sign up for an account on can upload their custom image and message and can shorten a link with by either typing in front of the or using the interface on the site. When users share the link on Facebook and Twitter, their friends and followers will see their “toasts,” or the billboards, for five seconds when they click on the link. Users can also follow people on to keep tabs on their link sharing activity onsite.

Founder Alan Chan tells me that despite a glutted URL shortener market, demand for a platform that allows you to market products through sharing links is high and 10 K people signed up in the first four days. Beta users shared a link every 10 to 15 minutes on Twitter and the initial beta testing crop included Lady Gaga, and 50 Cent.

While there are plenty of alternative URL shorteners such as and and even Twitter’s own offering, Chan says that the competitive advantage of is the digital billboard/ad part, what he calls a “visual extension of your Twitter feed.” He likens the startup to cross between and

Chan hopes eventually to monetize the service by providing premium features like user acquisition analytics, optimization and other perks to people who want to promote content through the URL shortener, “If you’re a clothing company you can put your messaging in front of a cool music video … If I’m following you then I care about the things you care about, it’ s like a visual tweet at that point.”

Source: Launches URL Shortener That Wants To Be Your Own “Personal Bilboard” Gets Kicked Off The Internet

March 21st, 2011 03:25 admin View Comments

Weep, my fellow internauts., the amusingly named URL shortener that launched to ‘kick it’ a mere five months ago, is no more.

In a brief message posted on the service’s homepage, the venture capital backed startup behind the URL shortener (just kidding) poetically explains the reason for the abrupt ending of this beautiful, heartwarming story:

We sincerely apologize to our dedicated users but our ISP will no longer support due to constant abuse by spammers.

To which one can only respond with a question: seriously dudes, there were dedicated users besides those spammers?

Hat tip goes to one of those hardcore users, Brazilian entrepreneur Marco Vanossi.

Source: Gets Kicked Off The Internet

Justin Bieber URL Shortener Shuts Down After Cease And Desist

January 13th, 2011 01:33 admin View Comments

Earlier today we wrote about the Justin Bieber URL shortener, which had the dubious distinction of shortening long URLs to the shorter and more catchy About 22 hours after the site went up developer Elliot Kember emails us to say he received a “Cease and Desist” letter, apparently from lawyers representing “His Bieberness.”

Phil Sturgeon@philsturgeon
Phil Sturgeon

@jakeencinas @elliottkember You’ll have to ask permission from “His Biebiness” for that to happen.

about 3 hours ago via Twitter for MacRetweetReply

The site now reads “Aww, we got lawyered. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted! Unfortunately we’ve been asked to take this site down.”

Says Kemper, “This was pretty much the fastest C&D letter I’ve seen – it only took about 22 hours from launch to email.”

Teen singer Bieber and his over 7 million “Belieber” followers occupy a vast and murky part of the Internet so it’s no surprise that someone from the Bieber camp would put legal pressure on the guys behind the defacto “Justin Bieber URL Shortener.”

What is surprising however, is that the blog “Lesbians Who Look Just Like Justin Bieber” still manages to stay up.

I have (sadly) contacted Justin Bieber’s press team for more information, and will update this post (and start applying to grad school) if/when they get back to me.

Elliott Kember@elliottkember
Elliott Kember

I’m sad to announce that has been shut down.

On a more positive note – my first Cease And Desist notice! Printing and framing.

about 3 hours ago via Twitter for MacRetweetReply

Source: Justin Bieber URL Shortener Shuts Down After Cease And Desist Raises $10 Million Series B, Still Growing Like Crazy

October 7th, 2010 10:12 admin View Comments

It looks like short links are here to stay, at least for a while longer., the largest independent link shortening service out there, closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by RRE Ventures, with AOL Ventures also becoming a new investor. Existing investors betaworks, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, SV Angel, Founders Fund, and a few angels participated as well.

Every day, more than 200 million short links are clicked on and decoded by the link-shortening service. keeps growing despite no longer being the default link shortener for Twitter. In September, nearly 6 billion links were clicked (or decoded), up from 3.4 billion six months earlier. Twitter now only represents about a third of’s links, down from about 60 percent last December when it stopped being the default link shortener for Twitte (which now uses its own link shortener). Facebook, MySpace, and new services such as Formspring are more than picking up the slack. has been able to scale up to this point with only $5 million in capital invested. It now has 17 employees. It’s first source of revenues comes from Pro accounts, which are used by 3,000 companies and another individual 1,000 power users. (TechCrunch uses Pro to shorten all of our blog post links we distribute through Twitter). And while there was a recent controversy over Libya shutting down some .ly sites, the issue doesn’t seem to be spilling over to

But the bigger opportunity for is in all the data it is harvesting about which links people are sharing in realtime. Before the end of the year, in partnership with the New York Times, it will launch, a project which began in the R&D Labs of the New York Times. That team is now working temporarily at and using its underlying data to build a social news product which has yet to be unveiled. It will be a showcase of the kinds of news and information products which can be built on top of bit’ly’s data. If you think about it, knows what news is breaking because everybody is sharing it.

On sites which it helps to operate like, bit’ly will make traditional advertising revenue. But as more media and commerce sites start building their own products on top of’s data, it becomes more of a pure data business where it could charge by the amount of data consumed. And to the extent that can figure out people’s intent based on their realtime sharing patterns, it could create relevant, topical ad units which themselves get inserted into the realtime stream in the form of Tweets, status updates or whatnot. A lot of that still has to be figured out, but the $10 million just got should give it more time to experiment.

Source: Raises $10 Million Series B, Still Growing Like Crazy

Wow this is crazy funding for something which could be accomplished with a line or two of PHP code and an Apache rewrite rule.  Maybe I can get $10m for  Lulz.

Google URL Shortener Opened To the Public

September 30th, 2010 09:42 admin View Comments

Anonymusing writes “Just what the world needs, another URL shortener, right? Google seems to think to, and it’s making its own widely available to anyone — complete with tracking and statistics — for free. As noted on its blog: “There are many shorteners out there with great features, so some people may wonder whether the world really needs yet another. As we said late last year, we built with a focus on quality. With, every time you shorten a URL, you know it will work, it will work fast, and it will keep working. You also know that when you click a shortened URL, you’re protected against malware, phishing and spam using the same industry-leading technology we use in search and other products.” Is shaking in its boots?”

Source: Google URL Shortener Opened To the Public