I'm a fan of URL shorteners for the simple reason that they're undeniably efficient for their prescribed task: shortening URLs. Love 'em or hate 'em, short URLs are particularly useful for microblogging/social networking sites like Twitter where you're limited to 140 characters.
That being said I was excited to learn that Google has jumped into the game with its own URL shortener: goo.gl. (In case you were wondering ".gl" is the TLD for Greenland.) Google's URL shortener is not a stand-alone service and currently only works with Toolbar and Feedburner and is not "for broader consumer use." Although Google teases us that it might be some day:
If the service proves useful, we may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future.
The other problem with the first iteration of goo.gl is that it doesn't work on the Mac.
Windows users access the new URL shortener by first installing Toolbar (available for Explorer and Firefox only) and clicking on the new green share icon (which may be licensed from Shareaholic), then pick a service like Twitter from the drop-down list:
On Windows this opens a new browser window with Twitter pre-populated with the title of the page and its new, Google-shortened URL.
However, if you're using the Mac version of Firefox, Toolbar sends the title of the page and it's long url:
The snub shouldn't come as much of a surprise though, as with most releases from Google, Windows is supported first and Mac OS is a distant second.
If you want to see the Mac support for Toolbar send a tweet to @googletoolbar.
Which URL shortener do you use?
Update 2009-1222: Google's Brian R writes to tell me that it now works on the Mac. I tested the latest build of Toolbar and sure enough, it works.