Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The New Bitly- Like it or Leave it?

For shortening links, Bit.ly has been my go to site. I was quite surprised when I logged on last week and found the redesigned site.  It’s nothing new for social media sites to update their platforms and have users up in arms.  Anyone who has used Facebook knows this.  But Bit.ly’s update was a bit different: it actually makes the site- with the intended purpose of shortening things- much more difficult to use.  Adding to this irony, even the link’s name itself is now longer! It changed from bit.ly to bitly.com and in Twitter-sphere, those extra 3 characters are a big deal. 
If you want to dive into the new bitly and get the most of its new functionalities, be sure to spend a bit of time on the new site.  The site now lets you save and share links as “bitmarks” (like bookmarks), curate groups of these bitmarks as “bundles”, make bitmarks or bundles private or public and link all these features with friends.

If you just want to use the standard feature of bitly- shortening a url- and not fuss with all the new bells and whistles, here’s the easiest way:
1. Paste the URL into the “ADD A BITMARK” box in the top right corner
3. Click the “COPY” button next to the shortened link to copy it to your clipboard

Just can’t seem to get used to the new format?  Here are a few simpler options to shorten your links.
Ow.ly:  A URL shortener from HootSuite.  Simple and straightforward, copy the url and hit “Shrink It” Button.  Only downside is you have to enter a captcha when you shorten a link (but this also makes the site more secure).
Goo.gl:  Yes, even Google has a URL shortener.  If you are signed into a Google account, it’ s quick, simple and easy.  If you are not signed in, you can still use the site, but it requires you enter a captcha as well. 

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