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Less than two weeks after closing its bulk link-shortening “bundles” service, Bitly has revealed a new replacement feature designed to help its users organize their myriad of shortened URLs: tags.

With more than 21 billion links (aka “Bitlinks”) shortened since launch, Bitly is perhaps the most recognizable link-shortening service on the web. Four years ago, Bitly launched bundles, a feature that let its users share multiple links with a single Bitly URL — it saved users from manually shortening each link they wished to share. However, back in March Bitly said it was “sunsetting” the service, citing abuse by spammers and general lack of use.

While the New York-based company did state it would be replacing Bundles with a new “tags” feature, it has only now revealed exactly how it will work.

The concept behind tags will be familiar to anyone who’s used other data-rich software and apps. They’re designed to facilitate searching and sorting of a user’s accumulated Bitlinks. So, in your main Bitlink dashboard, you can create new context-specific tags or apply ones you’ve created previously — this could be “SEO best practices,” “Facebook sharing,” “Best new music videos,” or just about anything that helps bring order and meaning to your abundance of shortened URLs.


Above: Bitly

It pretty much works in the same way as tags in Gmail — it lets you decide what words and phrases are the most suitable for retrieval at a later point.

For users who had previously used Bitly’s now-defunct bundles feature, the company says it has migrated all associated data into tags, so there may already be some tags in your account.

Just a few weeks back, Bitly revealed a new deep-linking functionality that helps marketers create a link that takes a user to a specific place within an app, such as an article or video. It was a clear acknowledgment of the growing influence of smartphones in consuming content.

Coupled with this new tag-based filing system, it’s clear that Bitly is pushing to remain relevant in the fast-evolving technological realm. If you stop, you stagnate, and this is what Bitly is striving to avert.


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