NPR means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some, it means great radio programming, while others may think of rich photo galleries, our iPhone app or our music coverage.
Well, we are happy to add one more thing to that list: NPR can now be known for having the tiniest shortened domain name for Twitter: n.pr. Others may be equally short, but none shorter, since it uses the minimum characters allowed in a domain name.
I know what you are thinking... Isn't npr.org short enough? Normally, yes, but Twitter only allows messages to contain 140 characters. Shorter URLs are better since they give users more room to add their own thoughts in a tweet. So when we had the opportunity to acquire n.pr - .pr is the top-level domain for Puerto Rico - we couldn't pass it up. Our regular URL, npr.org, will continue to be the primary domain for NPR, but we're going to start rolling out n.pr for Twitter use.
Right now, n.pr will work with an NPR.org page's story ID. For example, here's the normal URL for a story from NPR Music:
As is plain to see, this URL is rather long - 62 characters. Compare that to the shortened version of the URL, which is only 21 characters:
Our plan is to introduce n.pr to various areas of our system over time. We also hope to go even shorter than this as we experiment with hashes to reduce the length of the story ID. We're planning to use the shortened URL when we distribute NPR stories through our main Twitter accounts, as well as when you use the "share" link on any story page, so you can post the link via your own Twitter account. So if you're on Twitter, stay tuned - expect to see lots of n.pr links in the near future.
Special thanks to Pablo Rodriquez at nic.pr, the Puerto Rico Top Level Domain, without whom we would not have been able to secure the domain.