Shorten and Expand Long URLs using Google URL Shortener and View Thru extensions

Updated on September 1, 2017

In the era of instant messages, everyone is sending every other person hyper-links of images, songs, videos, animated GIFs, blogs, accounts, and websites to name a few. These hyper-links obviously make no sense to us and look pretty messy, what with the percentage symbol, hash symbols, random numbers and characters. What happens if you type a very long URL (containing  plenty of arguments, random numbers & characters) in the chat box? The immediate reply you receive is ‘What’s in this? Is it a virus?’. Alternatively when you type an URL with only 10 characters and still opens the same page? Your friend goes ahead and clicks it right away isn’t?. The reason is, the URL is short, uncomplicated and doesn’t occupy much of the chat box area.

For this very purpose, we use the Google URL Shortener at This service morphs the long URLs into compressed ones, making them as little obscure as possible. The short URL contains only few characters; which makes it easier to share, tweet or email to friends.

How to shorten long URLs using Google URL Shortener?

Go to and paste the URL you wish to shorten into the input box.  Click on ‘Shorten’ button, it proceeds to verify if you truly are a human after which it generates a short URL. All you have to do is hit the ctrl+c there and ctrl+v to anywhere you’d like to share it. Sometimes, you may want to track the analytics of the URLs you’ve shortened. This can very well be done by signing into your Google Account before making use of This will automatically be stored in your history.

As much as it’s easy to just go to and paste the URL, Chrome provides a more straightforward method to avoid a few extra copy-pastes. Install the URL Shortener Extension to your Chrome browser. This automatically adds a button to your Chrome toolbar. url

When you’re on the desired page you want to create a short link for, all you have to do is click the icon or set up a keyboard shortcut for it. Do you see any change? Nay. Because the short link is already copied into your clipboard. All you have to do is press Ctrl+v wherever you intend to. If your shortened URL is ultimately going into some sort of sharing service, you can also enable one-click sharing for various services. The best part here is that the generated link is immutable, by which I mean that once you create it, it cannot by changed by anyone. It is also irrevocable, it has no expiry, as long as Google doesn’t decide that it’s harmful or unwanted for spam, security or legal reasons.

Sometimes, you are the person who is in the receiving side. You do not want to click on the small link which may open up a video because you aren’t in the appropriate place or situation to watch a video then. But you cannot determine if it’s a YouTube link or not without clicking on it and being led to the page. Or do you?

How to Expand Short URLs using ViewThru Extension?

View Thru extension is used to display the source URL as a mouse-over pop-up display. Once you install the extension, it demands no information from you or the syncing of any accounts. All you have to do is move your mouse over a link to reveal its source.

viewthru chrome extension


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