Talking with other developers, “what are you building right now?” is not an unusual question to show up. But telling them i am building a Shorturl platform gets the jokes about the early 20s rolling instantly as well as confused looks.
“This is 2019, and you are wasting months into a product nobody needs anymore?”
Are they right? Well to some degree they are.
Does the world really need another Shorturl tool? Even worse a paid only one?
And all i can say is yes, yes we really need another one
Shorturls until today
Things changed. Shorturls definitely are a niche product at this point. Back when Twitter had hard limits for their Tweets and no build in Shorturl service things were different. Shorting links was a mainstream phenomen and people built awesome products to satisfy this need. In the mid 20s you would find hundreds of similar working services, doing one thing great: Shorting your links.
But today? Nobody is shortening their links anymore just to make them shorter. People are shorting links for brand awareness, tracking, flexibility, routing rules and a lot more. And while most of the old services died down some adapted and build more and more services onto their short link tools.
Slowly this market faded into a “premium” or “niche” market. One redirect suddenly required a lot of additional server resources because more and more features were expected and added on top of a existing system. This mainly lead to slower redirects with higher costs and more UI complexity than you’d ever asked for.
Some of todays use cases are so weird it’s hard to cover them with tools that were build 10 years ago. The understanding we have of links changed as well. While a link has been something more or less static in the past, today we more often find temporary things, geo restrictions and a lot more that make a URL/link a more dynamic thing.
Rethinking Shortlinks for now and the future
We took all the modern use cases for Shorturls and build them as first class citizens into our framework. Then we split them into handy & specialized modules you can use (or not use) with all your links. This leads to less crowded UIs and high flexibility in using tied.io.
Analytics & tracking is something we put a lot of thoughts in. We talked to different potential users using customized links for different reasons and found several aspects to improve on compared to traditional analytics solutions. From advanced bot detection over returning clicks & geo information up to detailed device information and in some cases even Proxy & VPN detection. Our tracking will take away a lot of the guesswork and provide many additional insights to your audience.
One big focus also was SEO & Branding. Also known as Cloaking in the this context, we provide full flexibility over the presentation (Meta, OG & Twitter - Tags) of your links. As well as traditional direct 301 or 307 redirects or any mix in-between.
As of writing this we are still in closed Alpha (you can tell on the top right if there are no “Sign Up” or “Login” buttons, but a “join the Alpha” button). If you are curious and willing to test our platform as well as provide feedback feel free to join the Alpha above!
We are still working on some corners and trying to optimize a few things before we go public.