WP.me — shorten your links

shortlink

Check out this address:

http://wp.me/sf2B5-shorten

If you visit it, you’ll end up right back here. The nice thing about it is that it’s a short link, about  70% smaller than the permalink for this post. URL shorteners are nothing new, Tiny URL has been around for 100 years, but WP.me is different in a few ways.

  • WP.me is the only two-letter .me domain in the world.
  • Every blog and post on WordPress.com has a WP.me URL now.
  • These are all exposed in the <head> using rel=shortlink.
  • It doesn’t work for any URL in the world, just WP.com-hosted ones.
  • The links are permanent, they will work as long as WordPress.com is around.
  • WP.me is spam-free, because we are constantly monitoring and removing spam from WP.com.

I think a few of these points are worth following up on. While URL shorteners have had some incredible usage tied to the growth (and constraints) of Twitter, I question their sustainability as a business. This point was underscored a few days ago when a popular one, tr.im, announced they were going to shut down at the end of the year.

Their story had a happy ending in that someone came in and saved them, but it was hard not to think of what would have happened if all their links stopped redirecting one day: part of the web would go dark. I also worry that because shorteners are essentially open proxies of HTTP they’ll be exploited by spammers and malware distributors to the point where businesses, anti-phishing, and anti-virus services will be forced to block them.

WordPress links have the structure they do, which is longer, because they’re meant to be permanent and portable. (And of course friendly to search engines.) Even if you weren’t using WordPress, the links contain no arbitrary IDs or other platform-specific implementation cruft so they should be trivial to serve from any system, even if you don’t use WordPress in the future. But if all the links to you use a shorter version, that sort of defeats the point!

But as Dave Winer articulated, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have a shortener ourselves, and here we are. 🙂 People are already using it.

How can you use it?

There is now a “Get Shortlink” button next to your permalink when you edit or write a post, and when you click it you’ll get a popup with the beautiful link already highlighted for your copy and pasting pleasure.

If you’re logged in you can also get the shortlink for any page on WordPress.com, there’s a link under the “Blog Info” menu in your admin bar.

Our thanks also go out to our friends at GoDaddy and in Montenegro for help with the domain.


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308 Comments

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  1. Yasir Imran

    awesome, great, smart
    love wp

    Like

  2. Juexanneta

    yep…….
    great for twitter 😀

    Like

  3. daven

    That’s absolutely great for those who have blogs on WordPress. But what about those of us who have WordPress platforms hosted on our own servers? Will we get access to this wonderful feature in the future?

    Like

  4. özgür

    hmm, we can take backlinks directly with our tweets 🙂

    Like

  5. Ahmad . M . G

    Good
    thank you WP

    Like

  6. rickvv

    How would we use this in a self-hosted version? Please?

    Like

  7. parwatisingari

    sounds interesting.

    Like

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  9. chantellmaria

    What?! I need blogging for dummies. I’m about 30 tutorials away from understanding what I just read.

    Like

  10. ranti

    I suppose, since you’re managing your own wp.me service, the referrer stats on my wordpress.com would be the actual referrer location where my wp.me link is shown (twitter, other blogs, etc.) That is, my referrer stat will *not* contain wp.me. Did I get this right?

    Like

  11. Evita Martina

    Thanks a bunch for this!!! Can you also rename the short link: http://wp.me/%5BRENAME%5D? If not will this be possible in the future?

    Like

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  13. creeping

    the domain portion is short but the rest of the url is not really short, why is that?

    Like

    • Heather

      This is to make sure there are enough unique links for all posts on all blogs hosted on WordPress.com 🙂 If the slug for your post is short it will use the slug instead of the auto-generated ID.

      Like

  14. YhonnyG, EspañaO

    thanks, this is good, but I was not given the impression that decreases the weight load of the post when you probe.

    Matt greetings. wordpress and the community as well.

    Like

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  16. belladaze

    Popping in to confirm my gratitude for this great new feature! Keep up the good news wordpress.

    Like

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  18. unknown

    Great feature. Would love it if you guys at wordpress could integrate a twitter feed, without having to use an extrernal ap which converts to bit.ly as default when posting to twitter.

    Like

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  27. the rufus

    I often like your new features, but what will this help a NON-twitterer?

    Like

    • Heather

      The shortlink will come in handy any time you want to send along links via IM or email, for example, that would otherwise appear bulky. I’ll bet you can come up with more uses, too!

      Like

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  30. shuttercraft

    Awesome! Now I do not have to go through a external shortener for twitter!

    Like

  31. Aaron Brazell

    Matt, to be clear, no one “rescued” Tr.im. Tr.im backed off a horrible business decision that would make them an unattractive acquisition. So, they re-framed their position saying that they would keep it around. They did not promise anything in terms of additional innovation or product buildout, but they did promise the links would stay active. Bit.ly tried to rescue them and apparently others did as well, but Tr’im’s asking price is too high for what they have.

    Just need to point that out.

    Well done on the WP.me.

    Like

  32. Ginger

    This is pretty tubular.

    Like

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  35. felfifer09

    This is so great, and am also a Twitter user.

    Like

  36. arcadata

    Perfect! No more visiting tiny url for me to get my short links!

    Like

  37. labaslietuva

    Twitter bar does not mind it, but is a good thing.

    Like

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  41. widi

    Very helpful. Thanks Matt.

    Like

  42. ppatil

    Great. You got rid of one middle-man. Now how about the other one, Twitter, by introducing easy microblogging with RSS?

    Like

  43. kempton

    Have used it a few times already. Good stuff.

    Echo the same comment re bit.ly as I won’t be using them as much now. Plus Flickr didn’t like bit.ly stuff already.

    Like

  44. Cleopatra VII

    cute!

    Like

  45. hendrabozzie

    wow…, nice and very helpfull…

    Like

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  47. Destination Infinity

    Great, I thought you would be doing that with wp.com ; I am eagerly waiting for wp.com utility, WordPress is always impressive! And thanks for extending it to self hosted version too!

    Destination Infinity

    Like

  48. Frank

    Coool. Great. Thaks a lot.

    Like

  49. LifeTutorial

    Wow, perfect for linking inside your own entries! Thanks!

    Like

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  54. KSINDGA

    That’s awesome, thanks! 😀

    Like

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  56. Web Developer

    Nice.
    I wana change my shortlink for homepage(given by worpress.com) into my own choice..
    Is it possible?

    Like

  57. Evie Alexis

    Thanks for sharing this. Very helpful and applicable.

    Like

  58. Estrella Azul

    Totally great for using on twitter 🙂 Very good change!

    Like

  59. Reluctant Twitterer

    Just in time for Twitter links

    Thanks

    Like

  60. jaycaykes

    That’s so original, I love it.

    Like

  61. samj

    This is a great feature to add to WordPress, especially as you have chosen to advertise the links using rel=shortlink.

    Sam

    Like

  62. regev

    Excellent – thanks!
    And how about adding short-links to comments as well (in “Edit Comment” section)?

    Like

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  64. whatsername13

    Wow! thanks so much for sharing! Definitely using this to my advantage.

    Like

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  66. absolutegrace

    Definitely Cool!! Thanks for knowing what we need before We know it! Great!!!!

    Like

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  68. hollycraw

    This is perfect! Often my permalinks are long enough that the post title is truncated, meaning I have to copy and paste the first and second half of the link separately when referencing a post or Tweeting.

    I love the simple one-click! Thanks!

    Like

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  84. Soldiers Of Allah

    nice

    Like

  85. Wez Coffey

    Nice!

    Like

  86. dotjenna

    Dang, you’re brilliant.

    Like

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  88. Tim Cohn

    Great feature Matt!

    When will I be able to Tweet my WordPress posts directly to Twitter?

    Like

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  94. Waching TV Series for FREE!

    It’s ROCK, dude..!! Good job 🙂

    Like

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  97. Taufik

    are search engines still recoqnize this shortened link?

    Like

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  99. that's elbert

    I would like to echo Ken’s question. Is there something in the works to replace Twitterfeed for WordPress.com users? I would *immediately* take advantage of the short URLs if they can autopost to my Twitter account. Thanks for your reply.

    Like

  100. raincoaster

    What’s the SEO impact, specifically? Does the shortlink to a post count as a Different link than the permalink? I suppose it doesn’t matter if I only use it in Twitter, but what if I use it elsewhere?

    Like

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