Popular URL shortening service Bitly has become a major web
player in an increasingly 140-characters-or-less world, and a new agreement
with Virginia-based web tracking company Verisign will help ensure that Bitly's
influence will only continue to grow.
MIT's Technology Review is reporting that Bitly and Verisign have
recently come to terms on a deal that would allow the companies to track what
websites are experiencing spikes or dips in popularity. As Technology Review
explains, "VeriSign looks up over 50 billion URLs every day and, like Bitly,
gets a handle on what people are doing online as a result. In particular,
VeriSign's data could add an awareness of activity outside the social sites
where Bitly links are used."
Bitly's value lies in its ability to track web trends through the popularity
of the links it creates. For instance, a blog post criticizing OnStar's privacy
policies became a widely circulated Bitly link on social media last summer. By
tracking the clicks on this unique link, Bitly was able to successfully predict
that OnStar was weathering a storm of negative publicity on social media and
would most likely see its brand take a hit.
By teaming up with Verisign, Bitly is now able to track the popularity of
billions of URLs and can more accurately predict trends and news developments.
In the age of social media and the 24 hour news cycle, the ability to stay
ahead of the curve and know what brands and individuals are about to experience
major profile shifts is invaluable.
Bitly and Verisign offer a window onto the
mood of the internet, something that everyone from marketers to governments
will surely have a deep interest in.