Before Twitter came along, who knew that there would be this explosion of services that are all about shrinking URLs? Suddenly we want everything to be tiny, and long URLs just aren’t good enough anymore. The functionality in and of itself is rather boring, but a service called Virl adds some personality to it with a goofy character and some extra features.

You better make use of the service because you don’t want to make Virl unhappy. You won’t like him when he’s unhappy. All kidding aside, Virl shortens URLs and enables you to upload pictures that are turned into Virl URLs and can be shared. These Web addresses can be customized, and a bookmarklet makes it possible to take advantage of the functionality wherever you are online. One of the unique things about Virl is that it acts sort of like a news reader by showing you the recent headlines from a handful of tech / news sites. If you like a particular headline, you can just click the orange icon next to it to have a short URL created for you.