A recent article in PCWorld.com highlights the possible dangers of increasingly popular url shorteners. Their anonymity, said PCWorld, makes them a good tool for spammers and a potentially poor tool for companies looking to increase branding. Yet their popularity has skyrocketed in recent months. Programs like Tweetdeck, said PCWorld, give you options for identifying the entire url, but that won't help with e-mail or with other social network sites.
If you work with web publishers or bloggers, you should look closely at the new Bit.Ly Pro option. Currently available only to select users and in beta form, Bit.Ly Pro will help identify the shortened url to a brand (nyti.ms, for example) to maintain the trust of the link.
Have you experienced any negative impact from using url shorteners? Any advice for best use of these tools?