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    This library expands urls provided by url shortening services (see full list).

    Why should I use it?

    It has been argued that ‚Äúshorteners are bad for the ecosystem as a whole‚ÄĚ. In particular, if you're running a forum or a blog, such services might cause trouble for your users:

    • such links load slower than usual (shortening services require an extra DNS and HTTP request)
    • it adds another point of failure (should this service go down, the links will die; 301works tries to solve this, but it's better to avoid the issue in the first place)
    • users don't see where the link points to (tinyurl previews don't really solve this)
    • it can be used for user activity tracking
    • certain shortening services are displaying ads before redirect
    • shortening services can be malicious or be hacked so they could redirect to a completely different place next month

    Also, short links are used to bypass the spam filters. So if you're implementing a domain black list for your blog comments, you might want to check where all those short links actually point to.


    $ npm install url-unshort

    Basic usage

    let uu = require('url-unshort')();
      .then(url => {
        if (url) console.log('Original url is: ${url}');
        // no shortening service or an unknown one is used
        else console.log('This url can\'t be expanded');
      .catch(err => console.log(err));


    Creating an instance

    When you create an instance, you can pass an options object to fine-tune unshortener behavior.

    var uu = require('url-unshort')({
      nesting: 3,
      cache: {
        get: function (key) {}, // -> Promise
        set: function (key, value) {} // -> Promise

    Available options are:

    • nesting (Number, default: 3) - stop resolving urls when nesting amount of redirects is reached.

      It happens if one shortening service refers to a link belonging to another shortening service which in turn points to yet another one and so on.

      If this limit is reached, expand() will return an error.

    • cache (Object) - set a custom cache implementation (e.g. if you wish to store urls in Redis).

      You need to specify 2 promise-based functions, set(key, value) & get(key).

    • request (Object) - default options for got in .request() method. Can be used to set custom User-Agent and other headers.

    uu.expand(url) -> Promise

    Expand an URL supplied. If we don't know how to expand it, returns null.

    let uu = require('url-unshort')();
      .then(url => {
        if (url) console.log('Original url is: ${url}');
        // no shortening service or an unknown one is used
        else console.log('This url can\'t be expanded');
      .catch(err => console.log(err));

    uu.add(domain [, options])

    Add a new url shortening service (domain name or an array of them) to the white list of domains we know how to expand.

    If domain name is already added, its configuration gets overwritten.

    uu.add([ 'tinyurl.com', 'bit.ly' ]);

    The default behavior will be to follow the URL with a HEAD request and check the status code. If it's 3xx, return the Location header. You can override this behavior by supplying your own function in options.


    • select (String) - jquery-like selector used to retrieve url from the page
    • fetch (Function) - specify a custom function to retrieve expanded url, see ./lib/providers/* sources for example.
    • match (String|RegExp) - custom regexp to use to match this domain.

    So a full-featured example of adding a domain would look like this:

    Security considerations

    Only http and https protocols are allowed in the output. Browsers technically support redirects to other protocols (like ftp or magnet), but most url shortening services limit redirections to http and https anyway. In case service redirects to an unknown protocol, expand() will return an error.

    expand() function returns url from the url shortening as is without any escaping or even ensuring that the url is valid. If you want to guarantee a valid url as an output, you're encouraged to re-encode it like this:

    var URL = require('url');
      .then(url => {
        return url ? URL.format(URL.parse(url, null, true)) : null;
      .then(url => console.log(url));

    Relative urls without a protocol are accepted, relative urls without a host name are not. You can receive incomplete url like //example.org if a shortening service redirects to it.




    npm i url-unshort

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