By David Worthington | Friday, May 8, 2009 at 5:04 pm
Amazon has launched a URL shortening service to make it easier for customers to talk about its products on social networking sites–especially Twitter, where every character in a URL counts.
I have argued that Twitter is overhyped, but I acknowledge Twittering as an activity will continue to be influential on how people use the Web. In response to that activity, Amazon created its URL shortening service to generate URLs for its products without having to use third party services such as TinyURL.
It makes perfect sense for Amazon to do this, because some sites, including Yahoo’s forums, prohibit URLs from the TinyURL domain. Amazon’s URLs are unlikely to be blocked, because there has to be a product behind the shortcut as a requirement.
Amazon’s shortened URLs are generated when a user takes an product identification number and pastes it after “amzn.com/’.”
TechFlash has reported that customers may use ASIN numbers (Amazon Standard Identification Number), book ISBN numbers, or Wishlist ID numbers. That kind of control makes Amazon’s URLs safer than ones that are provided by third party services.
This was a very smart move on Amazon’s part. It is making it easier for companies that sell products through its e-commerce site to promote their products, and it will increase search engine exposure for products by associating then with a single URL. While this service is intriguing, Amazon isn’t the first, nor will it be the last to leverage new trends in technology.