Link shortening and tracking service bit.ly got a major makeover on Tuesday. It offers a slew of new features to help make link sharing more dynamic — from bookmarks and profiles, to its first-ever iPhone app.
Although the new tools will surely add more depth to the service, the layout has left many of its most dedicated users confused about how to shorten a link — which most of us would consider to be bit.ly’s raison d’etre.
Bit.ly — which has more than 25 billion links saved since 2008 and gets about 300 million link-clicks each day — launched a redesign to not only expand its presence but give users more curation power. Among the most notable of the new tools is a profile page and what the company is calling “bitmarks,” which are similar to bookmarks.
“Bitmarks are the interesting links you collect across the web — a hard to find recipe, an article, an awesomely hysterical video,” the company wrote on its blog. “It’s anything that you find and want to save and maybe even want to easily share. You can organize them into bundles based on a theme or share them with your friends via Facebook, Twitter and email. You decide whether each bitmark gets published to your public profile or saved privately, so that only you can see it.”
When searching for bitmarks, you can see instant results based on the URL, title and notes as you type in keywords. Bitmarks can be added to a personal profile and can be made private or public. You can also save and share from its new Chrome extension, bitmarklet or via its iPhone app.
The free iPhone app allows you to (finally) share and shorten links easily while on the go. The app also provides access to your bitmarks and saved pages to view in offline mode.
The move is also part of an effort to see what others are sharing across various social networks such as Twitter and Facebook in one place. Bit.ly has already integrated those sites into the service; you have long been able to log in to bit.ly by using your Facebook or Twitter account.
Bit.ly bundles is also not a new feature — it was first introduced in 2010 as a way to curate topical or related collections of links — but now you can collaborate and edit along with friends.
Although the service’s new features will make the site more dynamic, it’s no longer intuitive to shorten a URL. Some people took to Twitter to discuss their frustration with the new layout.
I literally do not know how to shorten a link on the new bit.ly, nice job guys!
To convert a link, click on the “add a bitmark” link on the top right corner of the homepage and then click “save” (or “save and share,” if you wish to share). Then click on the “i” icon under your bitmarks section to copy and paste the shortened URL.
What do you think of the new site features? Are you confused by the layout? Let us know your opinion in the comments.