What Is Youtu.be?

Deyan G.
Deyan G.

Updated · May 10, 2022

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You’re certainly familiar with youtube.com.
But maybe at some point, it has come to your attention that there’s a youtu.be URL, that also has videos. 

So, what is Youtu.be

Worry not. I'm here to explain all about it.

What Is Youtu.be?

Youtu.be is a shortened URL that belongs to YouTube. Visiting either link will take you to the same home page.

You can get the shorter URL from the Share option under the video of choice.

Youtu.be vs. YouTube

So, what is the difference between YouTube and Youtu.be

When it comes to the video or service you get, there's isn’t one. All you need to remember is that YouTube.com is the original domain name. Youtu.be is an abbreviation, on the other hand, which functions as an alternative URL of YouTube. 

Youtube.com is a top-level domain (TLD). It is worth noting that the most common domain names are .com, .net, and .org. Youtu.be, on the other hand, is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD). The .be domain extension is the country code for Belgium. 

As .com signifies a domain name for a commercial entity, it was the logical choice for the service, which was registered in 2005. In 2006, Google acquired YouTube, and in 2009, it launched the YouTu.be domain name. Although .be is a ccTLD for Belgium, no rule forbids foreigners from using it. In some instances, ccTLDs are registered for a different purpose than to signify a country’s name. 

Why Did Google Create Youtu.be?

Shortening the web address has many benefits.
First, it makes it easier for people to remember the URL.

But that was never an issue with YouTube.
Then what’s the deal?

In 2002, web developer Kevin Gilbertson created the first link shortener TinyURL. Thanks to it URLs could fit in emails, which is the second major benefit. It was so popular, that it created market suitable for competition. For example, bitly came along in 2008.

So, in 2009, Google launched the Youtu.be URL shortener. Twitter also jumped on the bandwagon with t.co. At about the same time, Facebook released fb.me. We also had Google introduce goo.gl. 

There's more.

Micro-blogging websites were also becoming popular. At the time, one Twitter post could contain a maximum of 140 characters. Traditional URLs are long and take up too many characters. So, using a shorter link was the logical choice.

By creating Youtu.be, Google cut video URLs short by 15 characters.

Notice the difference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFGS4zZWGoA

And 

https://youtu.be/fFGS4zZWGoA 

Security

If you've ever wondered if Youtu.be is a virus, fear not, you're not alone. 

URLs can be shortened for security purposes. It's safe to say that YouTube trimmed its web address to protect it from code injections. Such attacks occur when hackers create new pages on existing websites. They can use fake Youtube links to inject malware and spread viruses. Introducing the Youtu.be URL shortening service meant that spammers couldn't trick you by disguising a link.

Still, you need to be careful. After the page loads, you should check the address. Even if you clicked youtu.be, it would still say youtube.com in the address bar.

Wrap Up

What is Youtu.be? 

Simply put, it's YouTube's shortened URL. There's no difference between the two. Youtu.be still leads to the main page. 

Also, Youtube.com is a top-level domain (TLD), while Youtu.be is a country code

top-level domain (ccTLD).

So, Youtu.be is safe, and it’s not a scam. You can rest assured that when you see a link with this URL, you are indeed about to click on a YouTube video.

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Deyan G.

Deyan G.

Techjury.net's manager. Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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