Twitter and TinyURL
If Twitter is ubiquitous – so is TinyURL. TinyURL is a service that will shorten long URLs and make them look good. If you use Twitter, you will know how common it is to find http://tinyurl.com/64f3j9 kind of URLs. TinyURL is using a 6 digit base-36 shortened representation of a URL, which means they can shorten as many as 2,176,782,336 URLs – they claim to shorten 74 million URLs at the moment.
I did a quick research on how many times TinyURL is used on Twitter, and compared it with 12 of it's competitors. Following is a chart compares the number of times a 'shorted-URL-service ' is used on Twitter (it's a logarithmic chart):
I was wondering – How is TinyURL making money?
I see that there are ads on the page, but the ads don’t seem very relevant. In fact on the right side (below the fold) there is a Google-link-unit that shows competitors’ ads, such as "Cloak Urls", "URL Redirecting" and "Smaller URL".
1. It will be cool if TinyURL.com puts ads that are relevant to the previous-page where the user is coming from. Typically, I would browse a page, find the content useful, and then go to tinyurl.com with the intention of making the URL shorter. So, if TinyURL were to show ads relevant to the previous-page where I come from, that’ll be a lot more relevant, and I will be more likely to click on those ads. From a technical standpoint – this is not going to be very easy, but it should be possible.
2. Also, it might be better if TinyURL puts the “donate” links at more relevant places, and maybe put some logic such as – if this is a repeat user, then be more proactive in asking for a donation (modified screenshot attached). If, I was using TinyURL for the 4th time in the day, I would definitely like to donate some money to TinyURL. In the screenshot below, when somebody clicks on "Donate money & Make TinyURL", TinyURL give the options of PayPal and Amazon payments:
Great service – TinyURL + Twitter.