We See into the Future

bitly sees the future!

Not in a time-travel, causality-breaking way, of course. bitly sees the future by knowing what is popular and exciting on the internet before anyone else does.

Scientifically-minded purists will argue that we only know the present. Fair enough.  Yet we can see much of the future by understanding the present while others are still catching up with the past.

bitly has been working on real-time search powered by bitly data for quite some time. Unlike other search technologies, which weight results by the quantity of references or links, bitly search weights results by cross-platform social engagement. Collaborative filtering (the wisdom of crowds) is an obvious value of social media, and real-time search is an obvious way to package that value.   

Finally, we are ready to release several different services based on this new type of search technology.  The first, launching today, is called “reputation monitoring.” What it lacks in catchy naming, it makes up for in awesomeness: given a search term, it will alert you when there is a sudden change in engagement and/or sentiment around content involving that term. Because these alerts are built on bitly’s realtime social data, you can find this content long before you see it on a search engine based on crawling web pages, and probably long before you see it on a news site. 

We created some interesting monitors and thought we would share them with everyone. Try these: politics, products, and startups.  You won’t get the email alerts when these sample terms trend, but you can click on the graph and explore the content.  The monitors live off of real-time bitly data, which on average lead major search engines by 12 hours or more.  If you have any ideas on what else we should be monitoring, let us know. Of course, you can monitor any terms you like with a bitly Enterprise account. 

Extracting the ebb and flow of trending topics and identifying viral content hours or days before you will see it in the news, on Google, or on Bing is quite amazing. We don’t know where it will lead. The internet made the world flatter. Social media and real-time content sharing are making the world thinner.