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03|04|2010 02:44 pm EDT

National Public Radio’s New URL Shortener Is One Of Shortest Yet

by Adam Strong in Categories: ccTLDs

National Public Radio now count themselves as having the tiniest shortened URL for use on Twitter and other social media sites. The organization announced their new domain N.PR yesterday on their blog. The company had been using Stumble Upon’s url shortener on most of their Twitter accounts. NPR will continue using as their main site address and begin shortening all their URLs in-house with the domain.

From the blog

I know what you are thinking… Isn’t short enough? Normally, yes, but Twitter only allows messages to contain 140 characters. Shorter URLs are better since they give users more room to add their own thoughts in a tweet. So when we had the opportunity to acquire – .pr is the top-level domain for Puerto Rico – we couldn’t pass it up.

With tweets limited to 140 characters, using the shortest possible URL to link in to your site seems to be gaining popularity.  For example, Facebook recently created , Google has and there are even services like Yourls that help you set up your own URL shortening service.

Having a single letter domain in a top level ccTLD like this does make NPR stand out. I imagine more large content sites, news organizations and publications will be look at this option in the future.

Update : While others in the comments below have mentioned other 4 character URLs that match NP.R as having the shortest URL,  my co-editor pointed out a story we covered in December about .TO which is claiming to be the shortest URL-shortener available.  The only problem with their service is browser requirements which make the url in to http://to./yff ,  adding http:// and putting the period after the extension and don’t work with some browsers.  Comments in the previous post also point out that and .to are separate entities, which means a mistype could end you up at a different site altogether.  Talk about confusing !  I’d stick with the short URLs that seem to work across all browsers

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Kevin Ohashi

March 4, 2010 @ 7:09 pm EDT

Richard Lau had running long before NPR.


March 4, 2010 @ 10:19 pm EDT

i remember seeing on the tech blogs that bought and you can use instead of if you need a shorter url. i’m sure there are many others out there just as short. is the perfect one for them though.

Adam Strong

March 4, 2010 @ 10:29 pm EDT

It’s still one of the shortest though isn’t it kevin, nr ? :)

March 5, 2010 @ 5:30 pm EDT

Yes, is one of the oldest if not the oldest, shortest URL shortener out there. ;^)

Kevin Ohashi

March 6, 2010 @ 7:30 am EDT

Adam, it’s just that little word ‘yet’ making it sound like it was the first ;) Plus, I like to give domainers credit when it’s due!

Adam Strong

March 6, 2010 @ 11:41 am EDT

alright fellas I updated article. better ?


March 6, 2010 @ 8:05 pm EDT

The URL shortener with the shortest URL is http://to./ (yes, that is a completely valid URL)

Frank Michlick

March 7, 2010 @ 8:53 am EDT

@CS: Unfortunately it helps little that it is a valid URL if popular browsers such as Firefox fail to interpret it correctly. That’s like sticking to CSS/XHTML standards and ignoring that various browsers have their own version of the standard.

Kevin Ohashi

March 8, 2010 @ 9:54 am EDT

I am elated Adam :)


March 9, 2010 @ 2:31 pm EDT is one of the shortest shortener URL in the world.


March 9, 2010 @ 2:33 pm EDT

Memest Even N.PR is shorter than . thanks for dropping by.


August 20, 2012 @ 5:08 am EDT

good information

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