We are on our way to Chirp and we are excited to meet many new and emerging companies and discuss bit.ly and the bit.ly API. Since the day we founded bit.ly, we’ve aimed to provide a simple service that does a few things very well — we believe the world of social distribution is offering a myriad of new ways that users, publishers and commerce providers can share and track content. bit.ly started as a point solution within the Twitter ecosystem — in the space of 18 months little old bit.ly has grown to become a web-wide tool.
Over the coming week we are going to release bit.ly 1.3, a major release that includes a complete update to our web site and the addition of some nifty features such as history search. Alongside the new web site, we’re unveiling significant additions to our bitly.Pro product.
No surprise, the new bit.ly web site still makes it easy to shorten URLs. But we’ve streamlined the process. Links are shortened automatically once you enter them (a feature you can disable, if you prefer). And it’s even easier than before to create custom URLs and to share your short links on Twitter. The short story: it takes fewer clicks to shorten and share your URLs. We think bit.ly feels more like a responsive application than a simple web page, and with the new features we hope it’s an application you’ll find even more ways to use.
In addition to these changes, which appear on the “Shorten” tab of the site, we’ve added a “Manage” tab where you can see and search all the links you’ve shortened through bit.ly. Trying to remember a link you shortened a few weeks ago? Just type a few characters into the search box and you’ll see suggestions for pages that match your search term. The search is so handy, you may find yourself shortening URLs just to make them easier to find later.
Both tabs give you quick access to bit.ly’s information on each URL — how many clicks it has gotten, the conversations about it on Twitter and elsewhere, and more. Additionally we are giving our users a public timeline view of the links they have shared — so that stream can be shared and backed up (via RSS). With this new release, we think bit.ly continues to be the best place to Shorten, Share, and Track Your Links.
Every bit.ly user can customize the part of a short URL that comes after the slash — the part we call the “hash.” Users of our bit.ly Pro service can also choose their own domain names, the part that comes before the slash. Many of you have already seen Pro domains in your email and instant messages or on Twitter or Facebook — domains like nyti.ms and on.cnn.com. While we’ve been rolling out Pro gradually, the enthusiasm has been amazing. Over the past 90 days we’ve had more than 6,000 sign-ups for bitly.Pro. There is an amazing range of use-cases: publishing (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post), television programming (The Olympics), blogging (baratun.de, sree.ly), application notifications (foursquare), humor (The Onion, someecards), e-commerce (Amazon.com, Toys “R” Us), and global branding campaigns (Pepsi, Cisco, and many others).
Today, we’re announcing pricing and an expanded feature set for bitly.Pro. The entry-level product, including custom domain names and account-level metrics, will continue to be free. We’re announcing the enterprise version with:
- a dashboard that aggregates all traffic to the custom domain, so that publishers can see all of their traffic on one screen, and discover what’s going viral
- "end-to-end branding," which replaces the bit.ly domain with a custom domain name (like nyti.ms) for all requests to shorten URLs on a customer’s web site. Custom domains will appear to all users who shorten links on the bit.ly site, via the bit.ly API, and through applications such as TweetDeck, Twitterfeed, and ÜberTwitter
- a real-time feed of click data for all your short URLs
- redirection of your short domain home page, eg 4sq.com pointing to foursquare.com
- access to our high-performance API without rate limits
The enterprise product is priced at $995 per month and is available immediately. You can sign up at bit.ly/bitlypro. Just check the “interested in Enterprise” box, below.
See this short screen cast demonstrating end-to-end branding — using Amazon, a bit.ly Pro customer:
As we roll out these new features, we’re working around the clock to keep bit.ly as reliable as possible. We know you depend on it, and so do millions of other people across the world. Thanks to the hard work by our engineering and operations team, we’ve had 99.9% uptime. And we track services like http://api-status.com/ to make sure the performance of our API is equally robust.
If you like numbers, some statistics:
- Every day, bit.ly shortens 40-50 million URLs. While most of these shorten to bit.ly links, an increasing number are on domains of our Pro partners, domains like nyti.ms, amzn.to, binged.it, huff.to, 4sq.com, pep.si, and n.pr.
- Yesterday was our highest traffic day ever, with over 147m clicks on bit.ly powered links. The total for March was 3,431,815,744 — up from 2.7 billion in February and 2.5 billion in January. (The corresponding number in March 2009 was 87 million, so we’re about 40 times larger now than we were a year ago)
- We are big on Twitter but bigger elsewhere. More than 50% of our daily encodes happen outside of Twitter. Clicks to bit.ly links created on Facebook are now twice as large as those on Twitter.com — last month more than 100m bit.ly clicks went to Facebook.com.
- Through our API we support the distribution efforts of tens of thousands of businesses: newspapers trying to quantify the impact of their stories, e-commerce sites looking to track their most viral products, real estate brokers sharing listings, schools sending homework assignments, publishers and retailers mapping the true dimensions of their online audience. What do the US Marines, the Wall Street Journal, UNICEF, Youtube, and Domino’s Pizza have in common with CNN, Fox, Starbucks and al-Jazeera? They’re all using bit.ly.
As we enter our second full year of bit.ly growth we continue to be as excited as ever about progress. bit.ly 1.3 will be out shortly — our biggest hurdle right now is the processing of the 100m’s of history items and migrating them from one box to another. It’s strange but we are sitting here at bit.ly central tweaking 1.3 — waiting for the computers to let us launch!!! We sincerely hope the data migration will be done before the end of the week and we can push out 1.3 to our users!!!! Thank you as always for using bit.ly — we are still a small company working hard to become a big business!!!!
If you are at Chirp say hi to Jehiah, Greg or Josh!!!!!
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