It's all the rage
: link shorteners to ensure that those useful URLs you're sharing don't take up too much precious character count while also giving you an inkling of what you're about to click on. Well, we've just launched youtu.be as a shortener for YouTube video links -- and nothing but YouTube links -- so you can rest assured that when you see a link with this URL, you are indeed about to click on a YouTube video. (Also, because the link contains the ID of the video you're going to see, developers can do interesting things like show you thumbnails, embed the video directly, or track how a video is spreading in real-time.)
To see this feature in action, use AutoShare
to link up your YouTube account to social networks like Twitter and Google Reader. Then, whenever you favorite a video on YouTube, for example, that action will get syndicated out to your network, who will see this shortened edition of the video's URL.
To use youtu.be manually, simply take a URL like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdeioVndUhs and replace the"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=" with "http://youtu.be/" to get: http://youtu.be/FdeioVndUhs Plug that shorter URL into a browser, and you'll see it redirects to that video.