Bitly, famous for its ubiquitous URL-shortening service, is introducing a new service designed to give marketers more data around how users share content.
With the aptly named Audience Intel, Bitly’s Brand Tools customers (marketers, basically) can see how users interact with content shared using Bitly-shortened URLs. However, it’s not restricted to content created by the Bitly customer itself, it extends beyond that and into the broader Bitly network.
With more than 21 billion links (aka “Bitlinks”) shortened since launch, Bitly is perhaps the most recognizable link-shortening service on the Web. Today, Bitly says it’s used for shortening 800 million links each month, resulting in 10 billion clicks from across two billion individuals. That’s a lot of data to parse, and it’s this that Audience Intel is looking to help with.
So, rather than just showing data around links created by a marketer themselves, Audience Intel surfaces information on Bitly URLs created from across its user base.
Such data includes what devices (mobile or desktop) are being used to access content, which could be useful for marketing strategies. Moreover, it can show what social networks are particularly hot for content related to a specific brand. Additionally, marketers can see the best time of day to publish content based on when a particular audience engages with a brand.
A couple of months back, Bitly launched a new deep-linking functionality, letting marketers create links that takes a user to a specific place within a mobile app, such as an article or video. Given that Bitly’s main business exists on the Web, this was an acknowledgment of the influence of smartphones in consuming content.
Then, after closing its link-shortening “bundles” tool — a feature that let you share multiple links with a single Bitly URL — Bitly introduced a new tagging tool designed to make it easier to group and search through accumulated Bitlinks.
With so much data to sift through and make sense of in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, and a growing arsenal of tools at a marketer’s disposal, the New York-based company clearly intends to build on its enduring popularity and remain relevant.