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Google has launched its own url-shortening service along the lines of TinyURL and Bit.ly.

Dubbed Goo.gl, the service is available with the latest versions of Google's browser toolbar and FeedBurner RSS service, both released today.

A URL shortener lets you shrink lengthy web addresses into just a few characters. They've become quite popular in recent months now that so many people have given themselves Web2.0rhea. With a service like Twitter, which allows only 140 characters per post, a url shortener saves much-needed room for additional banality.

New incarnations of the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner let you share links with others via various so-called social networking services, including, yes, Twitter. Google believes users will "benefit from a shortener that is easily accessible." Tight integration, the company says in a blog post, makes "it faster and easier to share, post, and email links."

But of course, the company also believes it's better at url shortening than anyone else in the world.

Because the service is built atop Google's famously distributed infrastructure, the company continues, it will be provide "stability," "security," and "speed."

We will leave the stability and speed bits to the land of marketing fluff. But certainly, Google is better equipped than most to address the security issue. The company says that shortened urls are automatically checked to see if they resolve to malicious sites.

The new service cannot be used in tandem with services other than Toolbar and Feedburner. At least not yet. "If the service proves useful, we may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future," Google says. ®

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