Make Short URLs Into Long URL With

by humagaia

You use Twitter and other social media and they are awash with short URLs. Do you click or are you afraid to? Make short URLs into a long URL and dispel your fears.

You see short URLs all over the place these days. From the Twitter to the Google shortened URL They are ubiquitous, it seems. But with the solving of the message length problem for those posting messages, comes a problem for those that view the messages. What is the URL actually pointing at? There is no clue in the shortened URL itself. What to do? Click and hope for the best that it does not redirect to a 'phishing' site, or to some less-than-wholesome web page? Or just not click at all?
Better than either option is to expand the shortened URL back to its original format, to get a better understanding of its content. Better still is to use a 'Long URL Mobile Expander' to save on the effort and inconvenience of copying the short URL to the website.

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Site information has a lowly 3-month Alexa Traffic Rank globally of ~#83k, although this has climbed to around #73k in the last month. In the UK it is ranked under #25k and from London under #12k. Over 90% of visits are direct, with the majority being return visits. There are a mere ~1.2k sites linking to LongURL.

The site demographics show a marked tendency towards males, in the lower age brackets, browsing from home, being the major users of the site.

The main countries sending traffic are the United States (17%), Japan (~13%), United Kingdom (~8%) and then India, Germany, France, and Canada.

The main sites sending traffic are, Twitter, and Facebook.

Data courtesy of Alexa 2012/03/29.

Function Of LongURL

For what is it used?

Using search engines you are used to seeing URLs and titles that explain what it is you might be looking at. There is an element of 'knowing' that if you click the link you will actually end up on a site that will have the information for which you are looking. This is not always the case, but it serves for the purposes of introducing a URL lengthening service.

You get an e-mail with a URL embedded in it. It could be a natural URL or a shortened URL. If it is an unsolicited e-mail we have become accustomed to be wary. As either type of URL might land us on a 'phishing' page or somewhere that we did not want to be.

We use social networking sites. Here, we are more accustomed to using and seeing shortened URLs. These are used for the convenience of limiting the number of characters in a URL so not too much of a message is used up by them. But with short URLs there is no real 'knowing' where they might lead.

There are many URL shortening services. Twitter uses and states that they check the end location of the URL link before using the short URL redirect. This gives some level of confidence that you will not get somewhere that you do not want to be. 

But for the other URL shorten services there is no guarantee.

What to do?

Do you click the link? Or do you just read and move on to the next message?

There is a solution to the quandary as to whether or not to click. That is to re-establish the original URL from the shortened version.

That is where comes in. It is where you can see the long URL, based on the entry of a short URL. And it works.

Expand A Shortened URL

Just as it is easy to shorten a URL, it is as easy to re-establish the original URL. Just copy and paste the short URL into the appropriate box on,. Click 'Expand'. Hey Presto! It's done.

Using To Expand A Short URL

Expand short URL
Expand short URL

You get something like the following replayed to you.

Long URL expanded
Long URL expanded

Now that is pretty much all you need to know about the expanded version of the short URL. 

You can now access the original web page with some confidence of 'knowing' that what you expect, you will find. Well almost.

Services Caters For

What URL address shortening services does longurl deal with?

Longurl pretty much caters for any shortened URL, no matter the source.

However, it does give a list of those services that it knows it can expand. I will not retype them here. But here are some screenshots of the list they serve.

URL shortening services list 1
URL shortening services list 1
URL shortening services list 3
URL shortening services list 3
URL shortening services list 4
URL shortening services list 4
URL shortening services list 2
URL shortening services list 2 Mobile Expander

Is there a more convenient way to expand short URLs?

But this method is crude, time consumming and inefficient.

Is there a better way of expanding URLs?

Yes there is. And LongURL has the answer.

They have a mobile expander called, you guessed it, LongURL Mobile Expander. It can be installed as a Firefox extension, and can be used on any website to expand a shortened URL.

You can get it from here:

For emails you will still have to copy and paste though.

Long URL Mobile Expander

Long URL mobile expander
Long URL mobile expander

Make Short URLs Into Long URL: Conclusion

Having short URLs is great in one sense, but a problem in another.

LongURL bridges the gap to make short URLs into long URLs at the touch of a button, when you use their 'Long URL Mobile Expander'.

Updated: 02/05/2021, humagaia
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humagaia on 08/27/2012

My pleasure Mira

Mira on 08/27/2012

Useful info, thanks!

humagaia on 04/28/2012

Most Twits don't even read the tweets, let alone click on a link. Many of those that do want to click on a short URL link are wary, just like yourself. Expanding a short URL before transferring to the site linked at least mitigates some of that wariness.

katiem2 on 04/27/2012

Awesome guidance and tools to increase the click through rate of those odd little short urls you have questions about. I know I've passed on a great many myself due to this very reason.

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