10 Top URL Shortener APIs

There comes a time in every web developer's life when they will need to shorten a URL. The reason could be to hide tracking links, make a link fit into a Tweet, make a more memorable link, make a link smaller to put it in print, add branding to a link, run an A/B test, retarget a link for market research, or maybe swap out a link at a later time (link rotation).

Developers wishing to take advantage of URL shortening technology will want to seek out URL Shortener APIs.

What is a URL Shortener API?

A URL Shortener API, or Application Programming Interface, will allow a developer to integrate with URL shortening services and create applications, or add those functions to existing applications.

The best place to find these APIs is in the URL Shortener category in the ProgrammableWeb directory. There, developers can discover useful programming resources such as APIs for shortening URLs.

In this article, we detail the ten most popular URL Shortener APIs, based on page views in the ProgrammableWeb website.

1. Bitly API

Bitly allows users to shorten URLs, share, and track links. Bitly's Function can be accessed through their website, bookmarklets, and this open APITrack this API. The Bit.ly service enables users to customize shortened links using their brand names or other words.

Bitly is an enterprise-class URL shortener with an API

Bitly is an enterprise-class URL shortener with an API. Screenshot: Bitly

2. Ow.ly API

Ow.ly is a link shortening and expanding application that allows users to either shrink or expand URLs for web pages, uploaded photos, and uploaded documents. The Ow.ly APITrack this API allows developers to integrate the functionality of Ow.ly with other applications with methods to shorten URLs, expand URLs, retrieve information about URLs, and access statistics of clicks. Ow.ly is part of Hootsuite social media management tools.

3. Tiny-URL API

The Tiny-URL Open APITrack this API is a service that allows users to shorten URLs. Rather than provide a single URL shortener, Tiny-URL connects to over 80 other services. The API uses RESTful protocol and responses are formatted in either XML, JSON or TXT.

4. Hide URI API

Hide URI adds URL shortener capabilities to applications. The REST APITrack this API returns JSON objects containing the shortened URLs.

5. QRTag API

QRtag generates a QR code for a given URL. The QRtag.net APITrack this API returns QR codes in a PDF, or SVG or PNG images. To use the API, embed it as a normal image.


The VURL APITrack this API can be integrated with applications to automate URL shortener capabilities. URLs sent to VURL.com must be encoded.

7. CU8.in API

Cu8.in APITrack this API provides a free URL shortener API service without registration. Users can quickly shorten URL and create custom links with just a few clicks in less than 10 seconds.

8. Rebrandly API

Rebrandly is a custom URL shortener. With the Rebrandly APITrack this API users can build in features to applications to create, track and share branded short links.

Rebrandly API

Screenshot: Rebrandly

9. CHOGOON URL Shortener API

CHOGOON provides APIs for developers. The CHOGOON URL Shortener APITrack this API returns a JSON formatted response of a requested URL to shorten.

10. Mgnet.me shortener API

Mgnet.me is a shortener for magnet: URI scheme. Magnet links are primarily used for referencing resources available for download via peer-to-peer networks. The Mgnet.me API provides the same functionality in XML, JSON and text output formats.

Check out the URL Shortener category for more than 120 APIs, plus SDKs and Source Code Samples.

Be sure to read the next Top APIs article: 10 Popular Accounting APIs