Today on their blog, URL shortening service Bit.ly unveiled a cute new feature: Clickabit. It’s a Twitter account that surfaces some of the “surprising and bizarre” links being shortened and shared across their network. But the feature also hints at something we’ve been talking about for a while: Bit.ly Now.
“We’re currently hard at work on several systems that will expose some of the interesting data we’re playing with. In the meantime, we’d like to introduce @clickabit,” Bit.ly writes in the post. They key part is obviously the first half. We’ve known for a while that Bit.ly has been planning some sort of service to expose the best links being shared across the web — kind of like Tweetmeme or Digg. But Bit.ly links are shared on email and Facebook too; it would be about more than Twitter.
Actually, Bit.ly Now has existed for sometime — on Twitter. But today, Bit.ly switched that account over to be the Clickabit one (the old tweets from 2009 when Bit.ly was using the account to surface popular Bit.ly links have been transfered over as well — and they have yet to change the bio from the Bit.ly Now one). They still control the @bitlynow account, and have switched the icon. The only tweet from the account now reads “Follow the puffer fish to @clickabit!“
It would seem that they’re finally preparing to do something more with this account. Something like a system to “expose some fo the interesting data we’ve playing with“, perhaps.
It’s an interesting time in the popular link surfacing space. Tweetmeme is in the process of morphing into something else following Twitter’s launch of their own tweet button. Meanwhile, Digg has just launched the latest version of their site (version 4), in an attempt to try and recapture the link sharing crown. Then of course there’s Facebook. That Like button is everywhere.
bit.ly allows users to shorten, share, and track links (URLs). Reducing the URL length makes sharing easier. bit.ly can be accessed through our website, bookmarklets and a robust and open API. bit.ly is also integrated into several popular third-party tools such as Tweetdeck. A more full list of third party tools can be found on the bit.ly blog. Unique user-level and aggregate links are created, allowing users to view complete, real-time traffic and referrer data, as well as location...