How To: Add Support for goo.gl and fb.me to FeedDemon’s Short URL Preview

One of my favorite features in FeedDemon is the short URL preview, which displays a balloon tip containing the long URL when you mouse over a short URL, like this:

FeedDemon has built-in support for over two dozen URL shortening services, but new ones seem to appear all the time.  Today, for example, Google announced their goo.gl shortener, and Facebook recently rolled out their FB.me shortener.

Both of these services will be supported in the next FeedDemon 3.x release (coming soon), but if you don't want to wait, it's easy to add support for them right now.  Just look for the file ShortUrl.xml in FeedDemon's \Data subfolder, then open it in your favorite XML editor (I use TopStyle 4).

The domain of each URL shortener is listed in this XML file as a separate <service> entry, so supporting goo.gl and fb.me is as simple as adding two entries to this file:

After you save the changes, the next time you run FeedDemon it will automatically expand short URLs from both fb.me and goo.gl.

You can add other URL shorteners the same way, provided that they return the long URL in the location header after doing a HEAD request.  Almost all shorteners do this (including youtu.be), but some redirect to an HTML page before redirecting to the actual long URL, and some use their own HTML page containing an IFRAME which hosts the long URL.  These services can't be supported.

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