TwitClicks drops Twitter user feature?

TwitClicks is a good URL shortening and analytics service. At free it is hard to complain too much.

However, there has been a noticeable absence of a key and unique qualitative reporting feature of TwitClicks – “Who Visited – See Best Guess”. While the domain of the traffic source shows up (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN even Ning show up fine) since March or April 2009 there is no more data on specific Twitter users. Previously, this worked great and revealed which users were responding to which messages – essential for understanding response and viral propagation.

A simple test was performed on a recent post on this very blog to determine the source of the problem. A TwitClicks shortened URL was posted on Twitter and functioned fine.

TwitClicks results.

However, when it came to reporting the previously available user name feature TwitClicks consistently provides no data over several more tests. More specificlly, there are absolutely no user names of Twitter clickers anymore. Possibly, related to this it was determined after a referral monitoring test that Google Analytics was being used on a redirected TwitClicks page – basically in the middle between Twitter and the target landing page. While the redirect process is essential, it unclear what value the JavScript-based Google Analytics system brings in the context of TwitClicks.

With all the compeition for URL-shortners and Twitter analytics tools, it is odd that this feature was dropped at this time. Inquiries to TwitClicks have not been successful – would love to hear from other measurement-oriented folks if they are having the same experience.