Bitly redesign emphasizes social bookmarking, sacrifices URL shortening experience

new bitly

Welcome to the new Bitly. Today the URL shortener unveiled its major redesign with a focus on its social bookmarking features. Other updates include the ability to search for these bookmarks, beefed-up profiles, and the release of Bitly’s first iOS app (iTunes link). Unfortunately, the new design sacrifices the URL shortening experience to instead compel users to sign up.

The impact of Bitly’s importance on the Internet has been unprecedented as the site sees 300 million of its Bitly links clicked on daily, with a total of over 25 billion Bitly links saved since the URL shorteners’ inception in 2008. Yet, the company is shifting its resources with an emphasis on its social bookmarking features, which Bitly has coined as “bitmarks.”

This emphasis is evident. On Bitly’s landing page, you’ll notice that the URL shorting form itself has been push to the bottom of the screen. Instead, your eyes will immediately be greeted by a “Learn More” call to action, accompanied by Facebook and Twitter sign in buttons.

In its blog post, Bitly lists the following redesigns and features, which focus heavily on bitmarks.

• Easily save, share and discover links — they’re called bitmarks, like bookmarks.

• Instantly search 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 links from anywhere with our new bitmarklet, Chrome extension and iPhone app.

In line with social networks today, Bitly has developed a newsfeed titled “Your Network,” where users can see what Facebook or Twitter friends are bookmarking and sharing on Bitly. But what we’ve found to be particularly useful with the service is its bundling (categorization) of bitmarks and its privacy feature. This feature allows users to publicize a link or set it as private for personal use.

While Bitly is betting that the new design will compel users to log in, sign up and begin bookmarking sites, its core feature – shortening URLs – is neglected for those of us who elect to sign-up and log-in. In other words, if you’re merely looking to shorten URLs we’d recommend that you remain logged out. If you’re logged into Bitly, be prepared to take a couple of extra steps to simply obtain a shortened link — namely, a user must add a bitmark by pasting in the URL, input a comment or edit the title (if desired), and then click the “Save” or “Save and Share” button, which then displays a shortened URL.

Bitly has released a Chrome extension, as well as an iPhone app, thereby enabling users to access Bitly and their profiles on the go. Have you tried out the new Bitly? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Gaming

How to share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.