Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Youtube.com and Youtu.be

Youtube.com vs Youtu.be

If you are an avid watcher of video clips on Youtube. You are probably pretty familiar with its web address, Youtube.com. But you may have also noticed the newer address Youtu.be, which also offers videos. Actually, there is no difference between Youtube.com and Youtu.be when it comes to the videos or the service that you get as they are one and the same. Youtu.be is just a shortened URL that is also owned by Youtube and visiting either link still gets you to the same Youtube main page.

Shortening web addresses is a good way of making it easier for people to remember it. Web addresses were beginning to grow longer as the possible combinations were being taken by more and more people. For Youtube, this is not really that much of an issue as Youtube is already very popular and this shortening just achieved a reduction of three letters. What Youtube was probably after is one of two things. The first is to secure the web address from being taken by someone else. Other people may use it to trick other people into thinking they’ve visited Youtube and inject malware into their computers. The second is to follow the trend of using domain hacks or unconventional domain names; a few examples include del.icio.us, blo.gs, itun.es, and goo.gl.

Youtube.com uses the very popular .com Top Level Domain or TLD. On the other hand, Youtu.be takes the .be domain. This is not one of the top level domains but is one of the country specific domains; .be is the domain reserved for Belgium to be precise. There is actually no rule that says people from other countries can use country specific domains. A good example of this is Tuvalu’s ccTLD, which is .tv. Tuvalu is a little known island nation but their domain is used mostly by television stations because it is the same as the abbreviation for television.

It is common for popular websites to grab other domain names and point it towards their site. Still, you should be vigilant about phishing through impersonation of a popular site. After the page loads, you should check the address. Even if you typed in youtu.be, it would still say youtube.com in the address bar after the page loads.


  1. Youtu.be is just a shortened URL that still leads to Youtube.com
  2. Youtube.com uses a TLD while Youtu.be uses Belgium’s code

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  1. Thanks for this info!! we have been racking our brains trying to figure out why we are seeing youtu.be. My friend Jeff found your post here, so at least we can be assured that it is not an exploit : )

    it would seem there is another difference between youtu.be and youtube, if you post a url with youtu.be into facebook, some times it open the video on youtube.com, but other times it allows viewers to view the video right in facebook with out being redirected to youtube’s website. Any ideas? your input would be greatly appreciated.


  2. > Youtu.be takes the .be domain. This is not one of the top level domains

    “.be” IS a TLD; the TLD for Belgium.

    A TLD is the last part of an url before the first slash. They are part of the DNS system: they are subdomains of the root domain which has 13 DNS servers (10 in the US and 3 across the globe)

  3. my confusion clear.thanks

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