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.
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
5. QRTag API
6. VURL API
7. CU8.in API
8. Rebrandly API
9. CHOGOON URL Shortener API
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.