TinyURL is a web service created by Kevin Gilbertson that provides short aliases to redirect long URLs. The TinyURL website has a text box to enter a long URL. For each URL entered, the server adds a new alias in its hashed database and returns a short URL such as http://tinyurl.com/dmsfm. If the URL has already been requested, TinyURL will return the existing alias rather than creating a duplicate entry. The shorter URL is forwarded to the longer one.
Short URL aliases are seen as useful because they’re easier to write down, remember or pass around, are less error-prone to write, and also fit where space is limited such as IRC channel topics or email signatures. Also some email clients impose a maximum length at which they automatically break lines requiring the user to paste together a long URL rather than just clicking on it. A short URL alias is much less likely to become broken.