The Saudi Founder of Untiny Acquires Twtbase, Plans to Make It More Intelligent and Promises Malicious URL Alerts for Untiny
Just to give you a background information, Untiny is simple English/Arabic service that allows you to untiny -expand- URLs from around 140 URL shorting services, ranging from tinyurl to bit.ly via its website or via other add-ons like browsers add-on and bookmarklet, Mac app, or via Instant messaging (Gtalk or Windows Live.)
Currently Twtbase uses wordpress to host its database of 450+ apps and divides them up into either web, mobile, desktop, or browser plug-in buckets. The website offers for each application a screenshot, a video over view in some cases and displays current rating, and number of votes. Users can also comment on each app.
In a blog post, Al Zaid explained in Arabic that he learned about TwtBase sale, via a post by the Pete Cashmore the founder of Mashable. He then communicated with the owner of the website, 14 years old guy from Holland, who said he is selling the web site because he is busy with his next projectYazzem a micro blogging platform for ideas. He also found out that the website’s visits range from 300 to 500 with around 600 to 1000 page views, so he entered the auction and won it at 2000 USD which includes everything related to the website from ads, the domain, gmail and twitter account.
Al Zaid told ArabCrunch his aim is to make Twtbase the destination to find new and related twitter apps for both individuals in business, he also said will work in enhancing and adding many features to the werbsite:
1- Add a service to find the best and suitable twitter app for a user. It will be done via an intelligent form, where the user would select one option like platform: mac, windows, linux, web … etc, when he choose one, the form adds more questions like twitter service: search, twitter groups … etc the form keep extending until the user reach the final answer of the best suitable twitter app for him. It’s more or less like “hunch” website service.
2- Private beta apps ?invites section.
3- More information about each app.
4- Change the look and the feel make it more streamlined like with things like new added apps and so on.
5- Enhance the search and adding tag cloud
(here is a comparison of 15 Twitter Directories by Mashable.)
Untiny started as a prat-time (and still) project in Arabic to untiny tinyurls which where blocked in Saudi Arabia, but later expanded into 140 more tiny url services and added recently an English interface with an open API. Tiny urls are popular among twitter users in order to save the 140 characters space, and as the threat of the of malicious urls spreading via tiny urls, Untiny becomes very handy, because it allows you to untiny the url and see if its original source looks ok, I am actually a regular user via its Gtalk boot.
Untiny is an Arab phenomena because it did not start in English and then added an Arabic Interface, nor it was a copy of an International site localized into Arabic, but rather the other way around . That led to more than a hundred International websites and blogs to write about it like PC Magazine and LifeHacker.
Since then Untiny growth and stats increased at a healthy levels , as according to a blog post by Alzaidi Untiny has untined around 1,300,000 urls and services 14,000 per day, he also said Untiny currently records all urls submitted by the users and has a database of over 100,000 tiny urls saved with it original urls.
He told ArabCrunch he is archiving the urls for future use in case some of the tiny services disappear, which happened with many services lately, or the case where tinyurl.com got hacked before about a month! and the hacker transferred all its links to one page, tiny urls actually made a threat to the hierarchy of the web, because they add a layer to the links between websites, and this impacts the page ranks he also said he will add a malicious url alerts using Google Safe Browsing API, where after you get the full url, the service will warn you if the url destination is malicious or safe.