You likely encounter link or URL shortening multiple times per day on the internet without even realizing it. Often web services will not expose the raw end URL, but normally will replace that URL with a shorter URL that is branded by that site and that allows them both control and tracking of clicks to that URL. For example, if you post a URL on Twitter such as www.abstractapi.com, then Twitter will automatically replace it with a URL like https://t.co/3aOj7xY1kf
Link or URL shortening has a variety of benefits for both the company doing the shortening as well as the user of the shortened links. For one, they provide a cleaner and more branded experience for both parties. For example, you'll notice above the Twitter link is branded as t.co, which is Twitter's own domain. Secondly, a short URL provides a degree of security for both the user and company. For example, if a user is found to be spreading malicious content via a URL, the site can just disable the redirection of all the short URL's that point to the malicious domain. And lastly, a short URL can provide in depth tracking data on the users that click on those links.
Short URL's also present multiple opportunities to improve your marketing efficiency and ROI. For example, it's possible to include retargeting products in the short URL's so you can easily retarget users who click on specific links. More advanced Link Shortener API's like Abstract's can allow you to do deep linking and smart routing of users based on their characteristics so you can send users directly to the page or part of your app that is likely to have the highest conversion rate.
July 6, 2021
The Link Shortener API is now in private beta!
If you would like to join the private beta, please email or chat with us.