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This article was published on December 6, 2009

    Is This The World’s Shortest Possible URL Shortener?

    Is This The World’s Shortest Possible URL Shortener?
    Alex Wilhelm
    Story by

    Alex Wilhelm

    Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

    Just when you thought that the great shortener wars of 2009 had come to an uneasy calm, we may have just uncovered a new, yet unlaunched competitor that wants to upset everything.

    In Firefox, point your address bar to: http://to./ (UPDATE – works on the latest Chrome dev build). What you see is this:

    to get shorty

    Darren Bounds, president of Cliqset, brought this to our attention. What this appears to be, is a use of the .to top level domain. So instead of http://bit.ly, they have built http://.ly.

    This would mean that “TO. – Get Shorty URL” (for lack of a better name) would indeed be the shortest URL shortener, not just in the world, but possible. We are very curious. More after the jump.

    The web page says that we should “know who to contact,” but we don’t. If you do, or you are that person: [email protected] is waiting. What do you guys think? Best domain name ever, or just a clever ploy far too late to the game?

    Darren’s Explanation (via Twitter to me):

    @alex It would be the shortest possible URL shortener.

    @dbounds: could you not have http://t./ ?

    @alex I don’t believe so. I believe they’re hosting this out of .to. Meaning that ‘.to’ is the top level domain name.

    @alex So where as people have like bit.ly, or in your example i.ly, these guys have .to.

    @alex The period at the end is necessary to tell the browser that it’s at the top level. e.g.: http://www.google.com./

    @alex Otherwise browsers will try to resolve it to http://to.com/