There are a number of link shortening services cropping up all the time thanks to the growing popularity of Twitter, texting, and other micro-blogging/short communication forms. A shortened link, like one coming from the popular service TinyURL, would look like this: http://tinyurl.com/yfa99f5 This would typically be less characters than the URL you’re trying to send, so it would be less to type and take up fewer characters out of your 140 character limit on a Twitter post. Unfortunately, these shortened URLs don’t give you any indication as to where you’re going if you click on them. You could be going to YouTube, an Adult site, or anywhere else. Fortunately, a Firefox extension (and a bookmarklet for other browsers) can take the guesswork out of shortened URLs.
LongURLPlease is an extension for Firefox that follows the shortened URL of over 70 services and replaces the link text with the direct link. All of this takes place as the page loads. For example:
With the default settings, the bit.ly link is replaced with the URL of the final destination and it keeps the same number of characters that the shortened link took up, as seen above. However, Long URL Please is configurable and you can choose how it expands the URLs.
Choosing another option, you can get the full URL in the text despite the character limit of some services. It can either replace the text or just the link, so you can find the true destination in the status bar when you hover over a link. This makes your web browsing safer because you know where a link should take you.
Long URL Please currently supports these services:
Supporting 73 services:
bit.ly, cli.gs, digg.com, is.gd, kl.am, su.pr, tinyurl.com, 307.to, adjix.com, b23.ru, bacn.me, bloat.me, budurl.com, clipurl.us, cort.as, dwarfurl.com, ff.im, fff.to, href.in, idek.net, korta.nu, lin.cr, ln-s.net, loopt.us, lost.in, memurl.com, merky.de, migre.me, moourl.com, nanourl.se, ow.ly, peaurl.com, ping.fm, piurl.com, plurl.me, pnt.me, poprl.com, post.ly, rde.me, reallytinyurl.com, redir.ec, rubyurl.com, short.ie, short.to, smallr.com, sn.im, sn.vc, snipr.com, snipurl.com, snurl.com, tiny.cc, tinysong.com, togoto.us, tr.im, tra.kz, trg.li, twurl.cc, twurl.nl, u.mavrev.com, u.nu, ur1.ca, url.az, url.ie, urlx.ie, w34.us, xrl.us, yep.it, zi.ma, zurl.ws, chilp.it, notlong.com, qlnk.net, trim.li
You can download the extension from Mozilla here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9549
You can also find more information and a bookmarklet for other browsers from the official website for Long URL Please.