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YouTube hops on new link shortener bandwagon

YouTube is the latest to give a big thumbs up to [shorter links](http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/features/article.php/3853536/Google-Adds-URL-Shortener-Bitly-Goes-Pro.htm). Today, the video megasite said it's launched youtu.be as a shortener for, and only for, YouTube video links.

"...so you can rest assured that when you see a link with this URL, you are indeed about to click on a YouTube video," Vijay Karunamurthy, an engineering manager at YouTube, said in a blog post.

Thumbnail image for YouTubelogo_solstice-vfl138400.png

Link shorteners took off with the growth of Twitter as a handy, and short, way to add to links within the140-character character of tweets that the micro-blogging service imposes. But those shorter URLs have also been the source of security issues because, however they may be represented ("click on this link to win free money), there is no way to tell if the link is legitimate or [a malware threat](/security/article.php/3828666).

YouTube said that because the youtu.be links contains the ID of the video you're going to see, developers can do interesting things like show you thumbnails and embed the video directly. For content providers, the link can also track how a video is spreading in real-time. There are more details on how to use Youtu.be at [YouTube's blog site](http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2009/12/make-way-for-youtube-links.html).

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