A few days back the poplar url shorting service went awol from doing what they were really good at which was shorting links and allowing your track them and had a complete redesign and added some new features, well new features to bitly.
They proudly state that since 2008 they have shortened over 25 billion links and on average their links get 300 million clicks each day, pretty impressive?
So why on earth have they just made their service which was super easy to use into a complex annoying process with a lot of new unwanted features?
A quick search on twitter shows tweets of both anger and confusion towards the new design and enhanced service.
The core of the redesign and features centers around Bitmarks, which is their take on bookmarks – um we already have lots of great book marketing sites, why do we need another one? This service allows you to collect your ‘bitmarks’ and share them via email and Facebook and Twitter… um wow? And invite your friends to view your links and in return you can see theirs and discover new links from other users….
….OK so its a poor version of reddit or stumbleupon.
The sole reason people used bitly wasn’t to share links it was to track them and get the analytical data, so you knew how many clicks you were getting when you put a link up on different platforms such as twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or email etc and it was a great service. Now it seems that it has evolved into some weird and somewhat crappy hybrid link sharing network that nobody really needs. If you going to change your core service you should lead the way with a service that consumers dont even realise they needed until you show it to them and then decide they cant live without it, what you shouldn’t do is take your something, hack it with new features that already exist on countless other platforms and make your core service complex to use.
It seems that bitly have jumped the shark, so here is a list of other url shorting services that you can use, I was going to shorten these links but that just seemed a bit silly.
From Google (urrrghhhh monoply grows stronger thanks bitly) easy to use, has tracking
No need to register, good stats, you can download the stats via csv and you can do bulk URL shorting
Simple and has a toolbar function
Nice short urls, firefox plugin, easy to use
They have a free and paid for service, if you upgrade you get detailed real time stats and they have a free 21 day trial, worth a look.
This post was written By Mark Hall