TinyURL Outage Breaks Links on Twitter

Posted on November 19, 2007

Twitter.com has been working consistently over the last couple days but the redirection tools Twitter users rely on have not been. Today, the popular TinyURL.com link shortener and redirection service has been offline. TinyURL is the most popular URL shortener on Twitter so many links that Twitter users have posted are not working.

Twitter is set up to automatically convert long links into TinyURLs which is creating problems since the TinyURL links are not currently redirecting to the appropriate website - instead people see a 500 Internal Server Error message displayed on the tinyurl.com website. A lot of scripts used to post links to Twitter accounts also use TinyURL.

There are many alternatives to TinyURL. Urltea.comis one of the most popular alternative choices. UrlTea was offline for a couple of days but it is working today. Other options include SnipURL.com and ShortURL. Joe Messina has a Flickr list of other URL shorteners.

Twitter needs a reliable URL redirection service to function properly. TinyURL.com has proved pretty reliable until now and hopefully it will return soon.

Update: TinyURL is working again.

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