Oh, you internet tricksters. Had I a nickel every time somebody erroneously sent me to a filthy, filthy Web site via a common tinyurl or bit.ly shortened url, I wouldn't have to write articles for Maximum PC just to pay my monthly Internet bills. But alas, I am quite gullible. Or at least, I was... until I ran across a lifesaving Chrome extension called Expand.
I often use this point in these mini-profiles to make some kind of joke along the lines of, "oh I bet you know what this does, don't you?" Try to envision that in the voice of Stan the salesman , if you can. Suffice, it is pretty easy to guess what the Expand extension does by name alone. In fact, there's only one configuration option that comes with this extension. The rest is all taken care of automatically and behind-the-scenes during your general browsing experience. Install this extension, sit back, and reap the benefits of its simple--yet powerful--functionality.
So, er, what exactly does it do? This should really be a built-in addon for any common Web browser, but alas. Expand converts URLs that have been shortened by a conventional service (think bit.ly, tinyurl, goo.gl, et cetera) into their full, longer counterparts. This is useful for one reason and one reason alone: to find out where you're going to go prior to clicking on a link. This doesn't disrupt the normal functionality of these link-shorteners, so you'll still show up as a verified click on things like bit.ly's built-in statistics and what-have-you.
But really, that's it. It's a very, very simple extension that solves a powerful problem. You'll never be fooled into clicking on an unpleasant or unwanted link again. And given Expand's comprehensive support for a wide range of shorteners, odds are good your friends will give up before they find one that this awesome extension isn't able to handle.
Maximum PC picks one new Chrome extension as its favorite of the week each... week. Have a nifty extension that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.