fb.me: Facebook Now Has Its Own URL Shortener
BY BEN PARR
DEC 14, 2009
URL shorteners have been around for years, but they were mostly afterthoughts rather than legitimate businesses. That all changed with the rise of Twitter and short-form, 140-character blogging. With limited space for tweeting, the URL shortener business has boomed. Bit.ly has grown tremendously, companies like Coke have even made their own and even Digg has gotten in on the action.
Bit.ly has not had any major threat to its market share, but that's about to change. We're learning that Facebook now has its own URL shortener. It's unclear how long fb.me has been operation. What is clear, though, is that it's appearing more and more in mobile links and within the Twitter stream.
Currently, Fb.me seems to be rolled out on a limited basis. As Inside Facebook points out, the Facebook URL Shortener is already in use on the mobile interface. Whenever links are shared within a mobile interface (i.e. an m.facebook.com link), it is now automatically shortened using fb.me.
It's also active for Facebook usernames. For example, the short URLs fb.me/mashable and fb.me/benparr will take you to the Mashable fan page and my profile page respectively. This works for any username in the Facebook system.



It seems clear to us that Facebook has bigger plans for fb.me. It could be that any content coming out of Facebook could utilize the fb.me URL. It could even offer integrations with Facebook analytics, Facebook Connect and other Facebook tools — something that should concern Bit.ly.
Our guess is that you should expect to see a lot more of fb.me very soon.
TOPICS: FACEBOOK, SOCIAL MEDIA
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