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Twitter users love sharing links to articles, but those articles often have Web addresses much longer than 140 characters. Enter the URL shortener, which as its name implies, solves the size matter by creating new, more succinct Web addresses that redirect visitors to the original article. After selling its search service Summize to Twitter in July, Web startup incubator Betaworks (pictured) focused on growing Bit.ly, a URL shortener that also tracks data about how many times Twitter users click on each shortened address. With about $2 million in funding, Bit.ly is exploring different revenue models, including advertising, paid services, and licensing its data to media companies.
See also: TinyURL (tinyurl.com), tweetburner (tweetburner.com), and is.gd