URL shortening is when you have links that redirect to content that are either a lot shorter than the redirect to URL or it is a ‘pretty’ URL.
When I say a pretty URL it could be like https://go.pro/sale or https://haw.kz/gameday or https://n.ba/fixture etc. You can see a list of all the TLD’s here. The idea is to have the URL shorter and remember-able. Mostly so it can be fully displayed in social media. Whilst some claim SEO benefits just using your fulldomain.com/article is decent SEO.
Other URL shortening services like Google’s make the URL a lot more compact, less character and it has the analytics embedded. So you can see how many, when, who and where in relation to link clicks.
The benefits for URL shortening in most cases are just aesthetic. However for ease of use and especially the analytics link shortening can be a very useful aspect when looking at providing content digitally.