Thanks to a Tweet from Tony Vincent I learned that Google announced the impending closure of the Goo.gl URL shortening service. It has been a good URL shortening tool for years, but not the most popular service because you couldn’t customize your shortened URL. That’s why I’ve always preferred to use Bitly.com to shorten URLs. If you find yourself looking for a new URL shortener, take a look at these options.

As mentioned above, Bitly.com is my preferred URL shortening tool. With a free Bitly account you can customize your shortened URLs into things that is easy to remember and type rather than just using the randomly-generated default URL. With a free account you can also track the number of clicks that your link receives.

TinyURL might be the most recognized name among URL shortening services. It has been around since 2002 and is used by millions of people. It’s a simple and reliable service. Like Bitly, TinyURL lets you customize your shortened URL.

Many of my Tweets contain links shortened by Ow.ly. That’s because I use Hootsuite for a lot of my Twitter activity. Ow.ly used to be a stand-alone service. It is now included within free Hootsuite accounts. If you’re primary use for shortened URLs is sharing on social media, then Ow.ly via Hootsuite is a good option. Otherwise, Bitly and TinyURL are quicker and easier to use.

Share bundles of links in one shortened URL.

LinkBunch is a free service that you can use to quickly send a group of links to your friends, colleagues, and students. To use the service just visit LinkBunch, enter the links that you want to share, and click “Bunch.” When you click on “Bunch” you will be given a URL to share with anyone you want to see the links in your bunch. When someone clicks on the URL for your Bunch he or she will be able to open the links you bunched together.

FatURL is a handy little tool to use when you need to share a group of links to someone. To share a group of links through FatURL just copy and paste or type URLs into the bundle box. You can add comments to each link. After creating your bundle hit the share button to send it.