Url shortening announcements are like buses. You wait for ages then three come along at once. We have already brought you news of Google’s url shortening service and the Facebook solution, now Bit.ly, an established url shortening service announces a pro version, coming soon.
In May 2009 Bit.ly became Twitter’s url shortener of choice which has seen substantial growth in the user base for the service. Today’s announcement builds on that user momentum with the launch of the pro version including ‘private label’ tracking (on your own domain) and greater analytics for the clicks.
This private label pro solution is initially open for a limited number of medium to large publishers and bloggers including MSN, The Huffington Post and WSJ.com. The private label solution is aimed at boosting user confidence, with the ultimate destination of a short url which in turn should boost the click rate of the url. So if you click on a nyti.ms link you know it will be going to the New York Times.
The private label solution will also boost the clarity of statisitcs reporting by removing the possibility of shared short urls and aggregated results as the urls will be specific, not bit.ly urls. The issue of aggregated results is currently overcome by allowing you to customise the end of the short url e.g. bit.ly/jamier2341.
Boosting the analytics is also a key part of this pro solution offering a dashboard interface more atuned to a web analytics user including real time stats and country of origin clicks.
Possibly the most exciting element is the ability to see more detail on exactly who is clicking on your links. From this screenshot, and the related blog post we know it will give us the network the clicks come from (Twitter, Facebook etc.) and hopefully the individuals who clicked on the links. This ability to idenfity the ‘clickers’ of shortened links would be an interesting step towards identifying the real value of your followers when sharing links.
There is no public word on pricing for this solution nor when the average blogger can get their hands on this. I am off to submit the form for my own, smaller blog and see if I can come back with some answers.