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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's this site do?

TinyArro.ws makes the world's smallest links from your long links. To do this, we use the magic of Unicode and the growing support for International Domain Names.

Q: Your URLs are very strange. Are they real?

Yep! They're supported via a standard agreed upon in 2003 called IDN. You can read about it on Wikipedia, or some of the relevant RFCs.

These URLs work fine in all modern browsers, major sites, and a lot of popular tools. Some popular software doesn't support them, sadly, so that's really a bug with those tools. For example, Internet Explorer 6 does not support these while IE7 and IE8 do. If you know of a tool that doesn't work right with international characters, you can help by reporting it to them.

These tools don't support them very well as of this writing. Ask them to fix this.

Q: Are you on Twitter?

Follow us at @tinyarrows.

Q: What are those preview/countdown pages when I click on a link?

We're strong believers in the idea of informed consent. So before people are rick-rolled or are sent to a viagra ad, we want them to know where they're going. As such, by default, all users are given the option to see a countdown before being redirected. This means they don't have to track down some special URL in order to see a preview of where they're going.

The people who click on the link can click on "Never show this preview again" and the preview will never be shown. We had to give those users a fighting chance, though.

Note that the preview is not shown to search engines, so those search crawlers are sent directly to the site you target. Only humans see the previews as a courtesy.

Q: How do I disable the previews?

Quite easy, actually. Just sign up-- the previews aren't shown for registered users. You'll need to refresh your bookmarklets, though, so they will include your userid.

Note that spammers risk having their account disabled if they abuse this. (We really dislike spam.)

Q: If I bought my own tiny domain, would you let me use tinyarro.ws to create tiny links for that personal domain?

Indeed we would. We charge $49/year for this service via Paypal. Right now the registration system isn't automated, but drop us a line via the Feedback widget on the left and we'll get you started. We'll even share with you some of the half-a-dozen ways we know of finding super-tiny URLs of your own (information we'll be selling as an e-book soon).

To clarify what this means, you could buy some random domain (e.g. larry.ws) and as a customer of ours, you can make short URLs using that domain (e.g. you could say larry.ws/ms points to http://www.microsoft.com). This would give you a vanity URL shortener that you can use on Twitter, Facebook, etc.