Here I will explain how to use the new PinchURL API. There were some changes to the API in order facilitate requests from developers.

Getting the API Key

As before, an API key is required for requests to be processed by the system. Once a user registers, an API key is automatically generated for this user. The API key must always be appended to each request via the api parameter (see full example below).

Sending a request for shortening a URL

To send a request, the user must use the following format where the variables api and url are required. In the example below, the URL of the demo is used but you should use your own domain name. To request a custom alias, simply add &custom= at the end.


Field Descriptions

Field Description Optional/Mandatory
api Your API Key used to identify you M
url Long URL to be shortened M
custom_alias Customize your short links O
url_preview Gives your visitors the opportunity to check the original url before redirecting to it. O
expiry Allows you to specify a link expiry date. The format is MM/DD/YYYY O
password Set a password to protect your links from unauthorized access O

Sample Response

	"msg": "Short link created",
	"response_code": 1000,
	"short": "7cl39h",
	"absolute_short_link": ""

Server response

As before, the response will encoded in JSON format (default). This is done to facilitate cross-language usage. The first element of the response will always tell if an error has occurred (error: 1) or not (error: 0). The second element will change with respect to the first element. If there is an error, the second element will be named “msg”. which contains the source of error, otherwise it will be named “short” which contains the short URL. (See below for an example)

// No errors
// An error has occurred
  "msg":"Please enter a valid email"

Using plain text format

You can now request the response to be in plain text by just adding &format=text at the end of your request. This will return just instead of the JSON response. Note that if an error occurs, it will not output anything.

Using the API in PHP

To use the API in your PHP application, you have to send a GET request through file_get_contents or cURL: Both are reliable methods. You can see a sample code below using file_get_contents.