In 2010, GoDaddy rolled out its popular X.CO url shortener. With just three letters and a period, X.CO was the shortest url available. During its first few years, I think it became one of the most popular single letter .CO domain names, along with T.CO (used by Twitter) and G.CO (used by Google).
This morning, I noticed that GoDaddy is now forwarding X.CO to Shortener.GoDaddy.com. Users need to sign-in to a GoDaddy account in order to use the shortener:
Once logged in to a GoDaddy account, users can create a shortened link. They have the option to choose a X.CO link or they can choose a go2l.ink link. They can also still choose a customized url if it is available.
Because X.CO is still working as a shortener, people who previously used X.CO for url shortening will find that their links still work and will take visitors to the correct destination. GoDaddy has no plans to sell the X.CO domain name, which I thought could be a reason for the rebrand (before logging in to the site). This would likely upset legacy users who may have X.CO links embedded within websites and/or old tweets.
Because of changes at Twitter during the past couple of years, I think url shorteners are less necessary than they were when X.CO was introduced in 2010. Aside from adding an additional url shortener link, I don’t really understand why this change was made. Perhaps there will be other options that can be used in the future or perhaps X.CO will be used for something else in the future.