Yesterday, Bitly, the widely used URL shortening service, rolled out its new website to the public. The new design focused on implementing better social tools into the service in order to provide users with a better link sharing experience. Despite mixed reactions from users, the new Bitly is awesome and will change the way you discover content.
The new Bitly is awesome
The new design is clean and beautiful. It's easy to read, easy to navigate, and perhaps most importantly is very responsive. The only issue I have with the design is the placement of the search box and the add new URL box. I think they should be swapped. I want be able to create links quickly on Bitly.com, searching is a secondary feature and should be placed in the upper right hand corner. Not the other way around.
However, that being said, the search is definitely much improved and much quicker than before.
The new stats page is great. It's easy to read and allows you to get a quick snapshot of which links are performing and which aren't in a matter of seconds. Additionally, the individual stat pages for each link have also been improved, one of the major improvements is the separation of information between you sharing a link and everyone else sharing the same link allowing you to quickly gauge how much traffic you are driving vs everyone else. While Bitly had this information prior to the redesign, it wasn't presented nearly as well as it is now.
The new Bitly will help you
One thing people are saying about the new design is that Bitly isn't a social network, it's a link shortener. And that's true. It is a link shortener, but simply being a link shortener isn't a sustainable business. The new social aspects of Bitly are going to be more awesome than people realize and will really help the company succeed.
Bitly knows which links are popular and are being spread quickly. By looking at the amount of clicks and shares a link is getting Bitly can determine which articles will go viral. In essence, it could be viewed like a realtime Digg.
Additionally, by knowing what types of links you click on, shorten, and the people you follow, Bitly can provide better content recommendations. Just think of the awesome possibilities!
The introduction of the iOS Bitly app is just another way for the company to provide content recommendations on the go. The app also features a great way to share the content via Twitter, Facebook, and email making it a one-stop shop for all your reading/viewing and sharing needs.