Ow.ly Removes Toolbar, Launches Second Shortener

HootSuite’s URL shortener, Owl.ly, no longer puts its controversial iframe toolbar atop shortened links. The toolbar has been known to discourage some potential users from trying the HootSuite Twitter client.

As a compromise, HootSuite is launching a second shortener, Ht.ly, that offers the same toolbar. Users will be given a choice as to which shortener they would prefer.

Choice is a good thing in just about any situation, and like ice cream, one flavor doesn’t fit everyone on the web so now HootSuite users can now choose between two flavors of links — one with a social bar and one without.

Next time you login to HootSuite, you can choose which shortener you prefer — Ow.ly, which from today onward will have no social bar, or Ht.ly, which will have the social bar.

Whichever link shrinker you choose will become your default for all links you shorten in HootSuite, including links created with the one-click Hootlet tool.

In related news, “Ow.ly Pro” is being tested by a certain group of HootSuite users. It is much like Bit.ly’s service, allowing you to have your own short domain be used for your URLs.