protect your privacy with one-time-use shortened URLs
once.ly version 0.00000manyzeroesbeta1 - use at your own risk!
- Hi I'm 12 and what is this?
- It's a URL shortener,
a la bit.ly, goo.gl, and tinyurl.com. It takes your long, clumsy URLs and turns
them into short, nimble versions, suitable for sharing with others in chat,
email, smoke signals, etc.
- Why once.ly instead of e.g. bit.ly?
- Other URL shorteners are great if you want the shortened URL to stay around
forever. We're semi-unique (like Miley Cyrus) in that we allow you to expire
it after a certain number of clicks or certain amount of time. Also, bit.ly's
web site is extraordinarily hard to use. No, it's not.
- What would I use this for?
- You could send someone a "secret" link that would be useless (and untraceable)
after they click through. You could run a "first 10 people to click" style
contest. You could use it to find out if a link is ever followed, like James
Bond putting a hair on his closet door. I don't know, man, be creative with
your bad self.
- What should I definitely NOT use this for?
- It doesn't make any kind of sense to use this service if you want your
shortened URL to have any permanence. And if any maintainers of
URL-unshortening libraries are reading this, please don't add support for
us. We're very shy. Also, it would be dumb.
- Why once.ly instead of e.g. clockurl.com?
- Honestly, no reason whatsoever. Their product is much more mature. But they
charge money for some features.
- Is it safe to use?
- Nope. We might lose your link, someone else might guess it, or we might screw
something else up. This is definitely a caveat emptor type situation.
Fortunately, we purge expired links once a day, so at least your privacy is
- Is there anything else I should know?
- If you plan to share your shortened URL via a channel that provides a link
preview (e.g. Facebook), please be aware that this will consume at least
one "click." You should increase the resolve number to compensate for this.
Your mileage may vary.
- Why does it look like a dumpster fire?
- The original programmer is from a parallel universe where CSS was never
invented. Also, he is a barely-functioning mentally-challenged person. Who's
had a lot of wine tonight. Fortunately, the co-founder will soon be jumping
in to clean up this hot mess.
- What other ancient technology are you rocking back there?
- Redis, with a splash of jQuery. Scalability, here we come!
- To whom shall I address my complaints?
- Please email us at support at once dot ly. We'll get back to you as soon as
- Why lambda?
- In nuclear physics, it represents the constant of radioactive decay. I know,
we're so clever.