What is it?
Snipping a URL takes a long URL and makes a new shorter link to the same page. So http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0006GAO18/qid=1112
141062/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-7005194-5886528?v=glance&s=dvd&n=507846 would become, for example, http://snipurl.com/ds2y. Also depending on the service you choose you may be able to name the snipped URL like www.some-url-snipper.com/whatever-you-want-to-call-it/ ; however, many will assign a random number or combination of numbers and letters to the link. Usually however, if you sign up with service you’ll gain the ability to choose a name.
What’s the difference between Cloaks and Snipping?
Snipping is more like redirection, and both are very similar and in many case can be used interchangeably. However, most snippers only offer sub-directories instead of sub-domains, and most redirection services only allow one sub-domain per account, but most snippers will allow multiple snips in an account. Also snipping is much more useful for general browsing and sharing with friends, compared to redirection. So to sum it all up., snipping is pretty much a refined form of redirection.
How it’s useful
The most useful purpose of using a URL snipper is if you’re sending the link to someone else or if you’re posting a link on a forum. Like if you want to show your friends and family a picture at photobucket, it’d be eaiser just to use a URL snipper and send/post that shortened URL instead of the long URL, since some people don’t know how to copy and paste and it looks cleaner and neater.