We were taking a usability look at Twitter (forgetting content and what is actually being tweeted) as we noticed some oddness with the way that default URL shortening works.
Previously the Twitter application would shorten a long URL with TinyURL. When you pasted in a URL such as http://www.verticalleap.co.uk/broken-links-check/ Twitter would automatically shorten it for you to something like http://tinyurl.com/d6kpr4- a TinyURL.
What we’ve noticed is that TinyURL is no longer the shortener of choice, now instead of e.g. http://tinyurl.com/d6kpr4 we were given this:
So, back in 2008 when this interview was posted the guys at Betaworks were keeping schtum, but it seems their efforts have now paid off- bye bye TinyURL, hello bit.ly.
For SEO though there is no pay-off, bit.ly URLs also perform a 301 redirection so some love gets passed with their URLs. For the lowdown on URL shortening services take a look at Matt’s post.