YouTube launches its own URL shortener - Telegraph YouTube is following Google and Facebook in creating a URL shortener The shortener, which is a tool that transforms long internet adresses into much shorter strings of random characters, can only be used to shorten YouTube links and is focussed on making it easier to share video clips and channels with friends. It will mainly help with using YouTubeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬ËœAutoshareÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ feature which syncs activities on the Google-owned video sharing site to Facebook, Twitter and other locations. Last week both Facebook and Google launched their own shorteners Fb.me and goo.gl. Google's new URL shortener, goo.gl, will be available through Google's Toolbar and its Feedburner RSS feed, but is not yet available as a stand-alone service for "broader consumer use". Facebook's shortener, fb.me, is predominantly designed for use on mobile device, and it's unclear whether fb.me will be rolled out across the whole platform. URL shorteners have grown in popularity over the last 18 months, with an increasing number of web users using services such as TinyURL and bit.ly to condense links so that they can be shared more easily on social networking sites such as Twitter, which imposes a limit on the number of characters that can be contained within a single message.