Google has added a URL-shortening feature to its Toolbar and FeedBurner applications.
The firm said the Google URL Shortener should especially appeal to users of short form publishing services such as Twitter where every character counts.
In a blog post the firm said: "URL shorteners basically squeeze a long URL into fewer characters to make it easier to share with others. With character limits in tweets, status updates and other modes of short form publishing, a shorter URL leaves more room to say what's on your mind — and that's why people use them."
Although comparable services already exist, Google thinks good usability and high availability will give its service an edge over the competition.
"We think people who use the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner will benefit from a shortener that is easily accessible – making it faster and easier to share, post and email links. Second, we've built this on Google's global infrastructure to ensure stability... security... and speed," the firm said.
Google said all shortened URLs would be automatically fed through a security checker to make sure they do not link to malicious sites.
Although currently only available through the Toolbar and FeedBurner systems, the firm said that if it seems to be popular, "we may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future".
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