We all have shortened URLs in order to share them easily. Long URLs look unpleasing and are hard to memorize, type or distribute. Short ones are better on Twitter as well.
Besides us mere mortals, there’s another set of people who are avid users of short URLs– the spammers. To disguise a malicious link, spammers shorten the URL and hit you up. As you can’t make out where you will land if you click on the short URL, more often than not, people end up getting scammed.
One way to prevent getting scammed like this is to use browser extensions such as Long URL Please Mod, Xpndit, ViewThrough & LongURl. But that doesn’t work on the mobile.
URL Ripper can come handy when there is an ambiguity about a short URL on the mobile. The Android based application simply displays the link hidden in short URLs. Add the hash value of the short URL to the app and get the expanded link. It works with third party apps as well. Short URLs shared on mobile applications such as Twitter and Facebook can be easily verified before opening in a browser.
After installing the app, all you need to do is to select a URL service and click on the ‘Rip URL’ tab or select the short link from another app and complete the action using URL Ripper. It supports URL shortening services such as Goo.gl, Bit.ly, Is.gd, Ow.ly, Tinyurl and others.
The platform provides two major advantages: One it creates a security layer and make sure that a user’s mobile device can open a short link as many mobile browsers struggle with redirecting such URLs. It is available on Google play store and can be downloaded for free.
Many websites do not allow such redirects or short links. Also services which provide malicious content in short URLs are blacklisted permanently. Interestingly, Twitter in 2009 made Bit.ly as its default service for shortening of links replacing TinyURL.
Developed by Paritosh Bhatia, URL ripper has seen more than 1000 downloads in two weeks, since its launch on July 7. In future he plans to launch an iOS app and add more services such as “adf.ly” which shows a five second ad before redirecting it to the main website.