To follow up on Bitly’s vanity URL news, I know of at least two services that offer custom root domain redirects at prices that are much more affordable to individuals and small businesses.
The first is CloudApp, a super simple service for sharing links, media, and other files. Basic features are free, but a vanity URL with root redirection (and other features like larger uploads and storage persistence) starts at $5 per month, with discounts for longer terms. Regular yearly price is $60, but it’s on sale right now for just $45.
The other option I know of is HootSuite, a social media dashboard that lets you wrangle and cross-post to Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and a bunch of other social networks. Depending on your needs, HootSuite might offer more than you’re looking for since it’s designed for small businesses and individuals who want a little more than your typical Twitter client. But you can ditch its dashboard interface and just shorten links with HootSuite’s bookmarklet, browser plugins, and free mobile apps. Many of HootSuite’s features are free (including the ability to schedule tweets and posts), while the premium version that offers things like team members and analytics starts at $6/month. Add another $50/month on top of that you can shorten links with your vanity URL and set a root redirect.