URL Shortening Service Bitly Redesign Gets Slammed

Author: Tim Gibbon
Published: June 04, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Web service Bitly (more widely known for shortening long URLs) refreshed its brand, changed its domain and added more functionality, taking many by surprise. To the dismay of many users, Bitly’s changes have made its services complicated to use, as reported by Venture Beat with users slamming the brand on its blog and Twitter. Among one of main complaints is, surprisingly, that it’s actually harder to create short URLs, the crux of what Bitly is all about – in fact, its own domain name is now longer, changing from Bit.ly to Bitly.com.

Generally, people are resistant towards change with social networks such as Facebook feeling the digital wrath when it rolled out design, user interface (UI) and functionality changes, even worse when it is thrust upon them without any warning. Bitly made a classic mistake in not only seeking feedback from users before the change, but also providing its users an immediate shock with a page refresh and login, so Bitly users were treated to an ice cold water splash on the face brand refresh,

An update on the changes were featured on the Bitly blogand in addition to leaving feedback on that post, its users also flocked to Twitter to share exactly what they thought of the change - and it’s not pretty. With 25 billion saved hyperlinks since 2008 from bitly alone, it’s safe to say short URLs play a massive role across the web - people just find navigating the web with them easier. With strong competition from many other URL shortening services and Twitter having its own, Bitly has its work cut out in winning back favor.

Unfortunately, what has been overlooked is the additional functionality bitly has brought to users (editing saved URLs, the mobile app, social sharing) as it waits for the negativity to disperse and for it (hopefully) to fix user gripes. It’s a shame that crowd sourcing didn’t feature in the new developments; like it or not its now out there, so at least it can be actioned, that’s if the Bitly folk want to. For now, Bitly has responded with feedback on its blog to help its users. Social media news site Mashable has also gone to town on picking through the service on getting the best from new Bitly.


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Article Author: Tim Gibbon

We share ideas and have views on most topics relating to business marketing technology. Blogging, comms, marketing, media, music, social media & writing is what we do most days in our day jobs at Elemental. We tweet @elementalcomms, @smponline & @timgibbon. …

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