It was only a matter of time before Bitly built something with its giant mass of data, and now we can finally see the fruit of the company’s labors with today’s release: a completely new set of social discovery features packed into a major redesign, the company’s first iPhone app and a new Chrome Bitmarklet.
At the core of these changes, which are in the process of rolling out, lies the original Bitly functionality that you’re already familiar with, but now, the URL shortening and analytical tools are just one piece of the puzzle.
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Bitly’s new core emphasis is providing users new ways to “easily save, share and discover links,” which are called bitmarks (yes, like bookmarks). Users of the site are able to curate these bitmarks into bundles and “see what friends are sharing across multiple social networks, all in one place.” Bitmarks are instantly searchable and can be made private or public. The same goes for bundles, which can even be collaborated on between friends.
According to the release, users can expect the following new features:
- Easily save, share and discover links – on bitly, they’re called bitmarks, like bookmarks.
- Search and instantly find your saved bitmarks.
- Curate groups of bitmarks into bundles and collaborate on bundles with friends.
- Make any bitmark or bundle private or public.
- See what friends are sharing across multiple social networks, all in one place.
- Save and share anywhere with bitmarklet, Chrome extension and iPhone app.
With more than 25 billion links saved since 2008, bitly has long been a crucial part of the way content is shared across the social web. Today, bitly has evolved to unlock the power of its unique scale and reach with a new set of features that make it easier than ever to save, share, curate, bundle and track links. All of the existing bitly features are still here, integrated into the spiffy new look and feel, and complemented by blazing fast search, social discovery, and more!
Above: Searching your links on Bitly
At the moment, it appears that Bitly has transformed into a social bookmarking site, somehow merging features of sites like Delicious with Google’s latest social search features. It will be interesting to see if Bitly eventually lets you search your friends links as well.
Above: User profiles
Above: Bitly’s first iPhone App
The company also touted some significant stats:
- Close to 100 million links saved per day
- Over 25 billion bitly links created thus far
- 300 million clicks on links per day
- Microsoft Research estimates bitly sees 1 percent of all clicks on the Internet
Above: Bundles (of Bitmarks)
Above: Social Integration and Easy Sharing
Above: Your Network
Perhaps the most interesting new aspect of the redesign is the Your Network feature, which shows you all the public bitmarks shared by your friends on Facebook and Twitter (if you’ve connected those accounts). This creates a stream of sorts that reflects what friends are interested in. Feeding into the Network, Bitly has added the ability to automatically import any links you tweet outside of the site as well.
Above: Chrome Bitmarklet
Tied into the consumer facing product, Bitly has also decided to make all bitmarking functionality available via the company’s open API. Learn more via Bitly’s brand new developer site.
These changes are certainly an interesting, yet logical step for Bitly. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see if the community embraces this move (the changes are only just starting to roll out) — at the moment I believe it’s too early too tell what will happen next. What do you think?