URL shortening platform bitly has just raised $20 million in a round of funding, roughly double it garnered last time around. Bitly had been the default URL shortener on Twitter since 2009, replacing TinyURL, until Twitter introduced its own shortener called t.co in 2010.
Investor Joshua Stylman mentioned to the Verge, “The link shortening has always been a bit of a Trojan Horse. Bitly is really an analytics tool for tracking content across the open, distributed web, and doing it at a massive, real-time scale.” The analytics functionality is what the company has been able to bank on, and recently moved into a larger office from the Chelsea-based innovation lab Betaworks. Bitly’s enterprise dashboard allows users to better tack brand reputation, social proofing data, and can help predict what sort of content might go viral – and data is gathered in real-time, before Google can index the item in its page rank.
According to the company, “bitly shortens 80 million URLs every day, give or take a few – Now, with our new search technology, we’re crawling and classifying every URL we shorten to create an index of the most ‘viral’ content on the web – content that’s broadly distributed, frequently-clicked, and trending at a high velocity.” With the the relevance of social media advertising rapidly growing, bitly can expect to see growth as well, and with the new funding, users should expect to see a host of new functionality.