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Maybe you've seen the "gplus.to/<your_name>" URL shortener which points to your Google profile. I'd strongly discourage from using this. It is not an official Google service and there are risks you should be aware of.

I would definitely not endorse and publish "gplus.to/<my_name>" links in email signatures and elsewhere.

Why? Two main reasons:

(1) Trust: The site is not owned by a trusted party. The owner could just change the URL my shortened URL points to. And I'd look darn silly promoting a link to a different page, which could have horrendous content or my endorsement of the URL could be abused for different purposes.

(2) Reliability: The service is definitely less reliable than an official Google-hosted service. The link might just stop working or might be slow (latency), etc.

Instead, I link to your Google profile page.
For me, that's profiles.google.com/andy.st.

Update: +André Vatter informed me that you cannot create profile URLs such as profiles.google.com/andy.st right now. We had this functionality in Google Profiles before the Google+ field trial. Would be odd if that functionality wouldn't come back in some form.

Update 2: s/can/cannot/ typo in the first update.
André Vatter originally shared:
 
G+ Profile-URL-Shortener now boarding: http://gplus.to/
Nick Name. Your Google+ ID. Note's Your username; Could be at least 3 characters to at most 25 characters, Should not contain numbers or special characters, You can create a plusnick for individua...
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44 comments
 
Does Google plan to add vanity URLs for G+?
 
Nothing wrong with a Google+ ecosystem. Twitter thrived because tons of "untrusted parties" added to the service. Just because you don't trust them doesn't mean they're evildoers :-).
 
+Matthias Gutfeldt I tend to agree. But you have to earn my trust by building up a reputation. It's about trust and about reliability here.

I queried the DNS entries for gplus.to and didn't see any reason why I should rely or trust this party. Maybe that will change over time.
 
+Andy Staudacher well, you work for google, so you're maybe just a little bit biased :-). If gplus.to survives the next couple months, we'll see whether they're trustworthy or not. I don't need a vanity URL so I won't be using it anyway.
 
+Harima Plus no it's not spam. It's just a brand new URL shortener by a third-party, not by Google. And just like any URL shortener, it comes with a set of issues you should be aware of.

Its main issue is that there's currently no guarantee that there is a reputable party behind it.

URL shortening means that you tell everyone that they should ask someone else where they can find a resource. In this case, you tell them they should ask the owner of gplus.to where to find your Google profile, a description about you, etc. I wouldn't trust a complete stranger with that kind of responsibility.
 
The reality is - If they do that, Google will shut them down. Lawsuit or not, Google will have trademark power to block the site. Google can also empower the TLD of .to in risk of getting de-searched. Eventually it won't matter when Google gets vanity URL's going.

I think the risk is minimal (how many people REALLY will use it?). No information was exchanged and the website is only a temporary solution.
 
+George Lim I think the option to enable the profiles.google.com/[username] URL (it was always opt-in) disappeared when we started the Google+ field trial.

I don't know if and when such a feature will come back. Certainly a bummer right now. But the field trial just started.

@Your gplus.to URL: I haven't tried their service myself. My guess is that there is no risk involved in the creation of a gplus.to vanity URL for yourself (if all they ask for is your current long profile URL).

So the land grab is fine. By creating a gplus.to URL you make sure no one else takes your preferred username away from you.

But I wouldn't actually use and rely on gplus.to URLs before the service has demonstrated that it's trustworthy and reliable.
 
+Geekazine - Jeffrey Powers Gotta disagree. The community here is no longer contained to people who are completely web tech savvy. And it's always worth pointing out the consequences of using URL shorteners.
 
This is just an URL shortner, not expected to be clicked in 30 years later. :) I read the comment above after posted, I got your point.
 
I was about to use this, but looked at the page and there's ZERO information about who owns it, runs it, etc. I don't mind that it's 3rd party, but when someone doesn't put up an About page so I can look at who's behind a service, that red flags it for me. Not always fair, but hey... if they want me to trust them, they can at least tell me who they are.
 
+Andy Staudacher I created a [username]. I could be wrong. Is it accessible from the old "dashboard"?
 
+George Lim [username] in these "profiles.google.com/[username]" is really your Gmail username (as in "[username]@gmail.com"). If you opted-in to that option when it was still available, then the URL will still work. Just try it with your own Gmail username. If it doesn't work, I guess you never opted in to this option.
 
Unfortunately, I must not have opted in. Shame, I'll wait till it comes back. I'm sure it will.
 
+Patrik Johansson I think what +Andy Staudacher is trying to say is that the unofficial site could go ahead and change all the short urls, to go to spamming sites, so when you say "add me on Google Plus gplus.to/blah" and it redirects to a spam site, it looks bad on Google and the service, same with reliability

I think, I could be wrong.
 
+Matthias Gutfeldt the difference to bit.ly is that gplus.to is brand new and it doesn't have any reputation yet. And even bit.ly turned out to be a very risky dependency. Half the web is using bit.ly as a single point of failure for links that are handed around. Yet .ly is under the control of Libya, not the most stable country.
 
I wish there were a way to create a username that isn't my email address. In the past, I always avoided the vanity URLs in Google products because it would always expose my email address. Picasa Web Albums used to let us pick a user name just for our vanity URL, so it's clearly doable. I think Google should seriously consider this.
 
+Per Axbom That's interesting. How was that feature available? I have had my Google Profile for a long time and tend to pay attention to these things very closely. The only option I ever saw was to either show the long numbers, or to show my username. The username was always a derivative of my Gmail's email address. Is your Google Account associated with an email address that is not a Gmail account? I wonder if this is the difference?
 
Anybody know how you can view the "vanity URL for you Google account (http://www.profiles.google.com/_____) ? I tried using the gplus.to method and it told me that my Google+ ID had already been registered for, meaning that I must have set up a vanity URL when I registered my profile years ago but can't remember it. Any tips on figuring that out?
 
+Alex Plus - It hasn't been implemented by Google yet into Google+. Also, gplus.to is a third-party service not authorized by Google, so it's a crap shoot.
 
I already did this but I don't remember it anymore :'( Can anybody help? Thanks!
 
+Kushal Shah I wish I could say it was through genius reverse engineering. Instead, I just made a wild guess and tested it and it worked. ;)
 
+Peter Sitterly Lol my guesses didn't worked coz I tried it for like 20 times but it was taking me to some next Kushal Shah's profile :( Is there any particular way to find this if guesses doesn't work?
 
www.Topl.us ...is too there. Not many people are using this . so you may get your own unique nickname. !!!!!!!!!!!!
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