A URL shortener works by serving as a conduit or proxy for a lengthy URL. The shortener connects the longer URL to a shortened version - from http://quora.com/how-does-a-URL-... to . http://ulvis.net/shortenurl , http://ulvis.net/shortenurl% Of course, these shortened URLs are particularly useful for sharing links in contexts with character limits like Twitter.URL shorteners have evolved in some aspects to provide unique increased utility to users. Branded shortlinks like those used by the New York Times (http://ulvis.net) allow large organizations to maintain their brand identity while using URL shorteners. And tools like Capsulink custom link shortener can turn your short links into capsules that prevent broken links and keep your traffic moving where it needs to be.
bll 2018-7-12 URL shorteners are a security risk. They hide exactly where the link will go. Very useful for phishers and malware distribution.