Google have launched another URL shortener service, for YouTube video links only, called “youtu.be,” so you can rest assured that when you see a link with this URL, you’re indeed about to click on a YouTube video. Also, link contains the ID of the video you’re going to see, developers can do interesting things like show you thumbnails, embed the video directly, or track how a video is spreading in real-time. To see this feature in action, use AutoShare to link up your YouTube account to social networks like Twitter and Google Reader. Then, whenever you favorite a video on YouTube, for e.g., that action will get syndicated out to your network, who’ll see this shortened edition of the video’s URL. To use youtu.be manually, simply take a URL like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdeioVndUhs and replace the”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=” with “http://youtu.be/” to get: http://youtu.be/FdeioVndUhs Plug that shorter URL into a browser, and you’ll see it redirects to that video.
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