Bit.ly, the biggest link shortening service around, just raised another modest $1.5 million in convertible debt from all of its existing investors on a pro rata basis, including betaworks, Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech, Ron Conway, Mitch Kapor, Chris Sacca, Howard Lindzon, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. The funding amount appeared in a new SEC filing and I confirmed it with betaworks CEO and bit.ly… → Read More
The web has no shortage of URL shorteners. In fact, there are so many that they’re all kind of blending together and I have no idea where to turn beyond the de-facto one Twitter uses, Bit.ly. But today, a new one has piqued my interest.
The Realtime Web is a hard thing to measure because it doesn’t exist only on traditional Web pages. It also exists in stream readers and desktop clients and mobile phones. And it is not just Twitter and Facebook. It is also bit.ly and TweetDeck and Seesmic and Tweeite and realtime search on Google and Bing, and the list goes on and on. So while we can look at comScore and see that Twitter.com… → Read More
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics, as Mark Twain once said. A couple days ago, I wrote a post titled, “What Happened To bit.ly’s Market Share” after I noticed some new statistics on TweetMeme which suggested that the market share for short URLs has shifted in the past few months and is actually diversifying as more and more short URLs inundate the Web.
John Borthwick, the investor… → Read More
It seems like everyone and their mother now has their own URL shortening service, or at least their own short domain. Short URLs have almost become a branding thing. But as the use of short links keeps going up, the market share among different URL shortening services is fragmenting. The biggest URL shortening service is still bit.ly, with more than 2 billion links a month, but it now only has… → Read More
With more than two billion links a month passed through its link shortening service, bit.ly can see what is some of the most buzzed about and shared content on the Web. Today, it is exposing the most popular videos people share through bit.ly on Bitly.TV, which is the second project under bit.ly Labs (the super-short j.mp URL shortener was the first).
With bit.ly being the main way people share… → Read More
The short gloves are off. Earlier today, both Google and Facebook got into the URL shortening game with goo.gl and fb.me. Google’s move in particular is a direct challenge to bit.ly, the rising independent standard among link shortening services. Bit.ly’s response is in effect to ask publishers and consumers who they trust with all their data: Google or the rest of the Web?
To that effect, it… → Read More
With the rise of Twitter, we’ve also seen the rise of link shorteners (standard URLS take up too many characters). The king of the link shorteners right now is bit.ly, which is the default shortener on Twitter and accounts for more than 75 percent of all short URLs on the service. Every month, bit.ly shortens about 1 billion links. For spammers, that’s one huge honey jar.
The flip side of a… → Read More
Perhaps the top reason to use Bit.ly (beyond obviously shortening links) is for its analytics. The service makes it easy to see all sorts of data about your short URL links going out to services like Twitter. But sometimes looking at the bigger picture is more interesting than individual data. Now you can see that too.
Here’s an interesting factoid. Panera Bread, the national bakery and cafe chain, has blocked all Bit.ly links from users who happen to be using Panera’s free WiFi. In a tweet to user who was inquiring about the issue, Panera’s official Twitter handle responded that the coffee shops have “blocked b/c link is hidden & can’t determine content. Want to keep a friendly-family environment for all.”… → Read More
Real time search and discovery engine Topsy is releasing a bunch of new products and tools this afternoon.
Topsy is all about the power of the ReTweet on Twitter. When the service first launched publicly in May we noted that ReTweets are the new currency of the web. And it isn’t just the number of retweets that matters (which is subject to large scale spamming efforts). It’s the authority of the… → Read More
There is a lot of chatter about TweetMeme’s rather robust growth to over 18 million unique monthly visitors on Compete.com. That puts them ahead of well known sites like LinkedIn and gmail.com with 15 million and 9 million visitors, respectively, on the service). In fact, Tweetmeme currently sits as the 68th largest site on the Internet, according to Compete.
What does TweetMeme do? They offer… → Read More
Does the world really need another URL shortener? Apparently, the U.S. government thinks so. It just launched http://go.usa.gov as a link shortening service for government employees. It shortens links from any .gov, .mil, or .si.edu site.
Never underestimate the power of two-way sync and large social networks. A week ago, MySpace turned on two-way sync with Twitter, allowing members to post their status updates to Twitter directly from MySpace. Those updates appear in Twitter with a short link back to MySpace, using MySpace’s own link shortener, “http://lnk.ms/.”
Normally, when you use Twitter’s search service, you can avoid clicking shortened URLs blindly – which is a security risk – by expanding them and taking a look at where they’ll be taking you exactly. I use it all the time, and I’ve even gotten accustomed to using Brizzly for Twitter on the web partly because it automatically expands any shortened URL.
I’d recommend anyone never to click short… → Read More
While there is often a lot of talk about the downside of URL shorteners being that if they go down, they take your links with them, the much more obvious and real problem is that they very easily mask potentially bad sites. We’ve been seeing this more and more in both public tweets and DMs, but luckily so far most of those have just been worms meant to replicate themselves, rather than really bad… → Read More
Back in July, we wrote about TweetMixx, the new service from social voting site Mixx that allows you find relevant links on Twitter. Starting tomorrow, the service will be opened up to the public. And in anticipation of that, the service got a last-minute revamp this weekend to make sure it’s ready.The results are good, but there’s still a question of if TweetMixx can take off in an increasingly… → Read More
Big surprise. There’s another URL shortening service that wants to throw its hat in the ring and into a field that’s pretty much saturated. Do we really need another URL shortener? Brinkster, the web-hosting startup behind Br.st seems to think so.
Similar to many of its competitors, Br.st offers statistics (in your own time zone) about your links, including number of clicks, referrers, and origin… → Read More
When Twitter decided to start using Bit.ly as its default URL-shortener, usage exploded. But the service was able to handle the rise in usage, and has been steadily adding new features. And now other major players on the web are rewarding that reliability by also embracing it. Today on its blog, Bit.ly details a few of the new API uses and partnerships that they’ve been cooking up.
The biggest is… → Read More
Just before Twitter went down today (yup, it was down again), I noticed something strange. Whenever I clicked on any shortened link in my Twitter stream and look at the address bar of my browser, I saw a fleeting click tracker before it redirected to the final site. It looked something like this: “http://twitter.com/link_click_count . . .” Others noticed this as well. When Twitter came back up… → Read More
As if we needed yet another URL shortening service, TweetMeme is today debuting ReTwt.me in an effort to make that particular saturated field even more so. And it’s not like it does anything special in comparison with the plethora of similar services out there.
It shrinks longer links in order to make them more tweetable (and retweetable), it gives you some options to share links from its main… → Read More
When it comes to shortening links, the brevity of the URL is not the only factor you should consider. Speed and reliability are also important. After all, the main purpose of URL shortening services such as bit.ly and TinyURL are to redirect you back to the original (long) link someone shortened in the first place. You want the redirect to be fast and reliable.
The rise of Twitter and its… → Read More
Oh, this is rich. The Nambu Network, owners of the URL-shortening service Tr.im announced today that the service will go open source on or before September 15 of this year. That’s odd since the service has now gone from completely shutting down, to trying hard to sell, to bringing the service back up so it can sell, to now going open source in just 8 days.
Let me be clear, going open source is a… → Read More
Perhaps you’ve been following the Tr.im fiasco. If not, basically the URL shortening service shut down and said all its links would cease to work by the end of the year, dealing a severe blow to users of any URL shortening service. Tr.im has since recanted its decision (if only to make it easier to sell), but the problem is still a very real one: What happens if your favorite URL-shortener just… → Read More
The news that some loser URL shortener is closing down does not prove anything other than that those who promoted it with their links better have gotten something out of the deal already. It’s all part of the usual pony ride that starts with excitement about the possibilities and ends in recriminations about the winners controlling the market. Now Dave Winer is calling for an end to what he… → Read More
Yesterday, upon hearing that the URL shortening service Tr.im was shutting down, Bit.ly, the largest URL-shortener, stepped in with a proposal. The offer wasn’t to buy the service, but rather to propose that Bit.ly host Tr.im’s URL-mappings indefinitely, or that they join the 301works.com project, a sort of archive for shortened web links. Tr.im parent Nambu Networks has rejected that ideas, and… → Read More
For all the angst around the demise of Tr.im, the fact is that there are way too many URL shortening services in the world and inevitably more will fall by the wayside. There simply is no need for more than a dozen services to make long URLs shorter (and that doesn’t even count services such as Su.pr or the Diggbar which incorporate a URL shortener as a feature).
Already, the market is… → Read More
Those little green reweet buttons you see across the web on sites like this one have helped TweetMeme rise in popularity. The buttons are now so ubiquitous that the service has seemingly become the de-facto retweeting mechanism for content on the web. But it looks like it’s about to get a challenger, with a killer name, Retweet.com.
Retweet.com currently only has a a landing page saying that it’s… → Read More
Those changes to the DiggBar that we noted on Sunday are, apparently, permanent. We expect Digg to make an announcement about those changes later today.
We first heard about the DiggBar in February, and the product launched in April. At that time Digg was calling it a short URL service, meaning users could convert long URLs into short ones that are better suited to services like Twitter and… → Read More
Yahoo isn’t the only site that is undergoing a homepage change. The URL-shortening service Bit.ly did a slight reworking of its main site today as well. And not surprisingly, it’s very Twitter-focused.
The new design is called “Bento Box,” according to a post on the Bit.ly blog. This is named after the containers that Japanese food is often served in. The reason is that Bit.ly is now more… → Read More