We knew that changes were coming to link shortening service Bitly, and today the company has rolled out a major overhaul that gives the service a much more social feel. You can still shorten and share links as before — which Bitly now calls bitmarks — but now the site also recommends you links based on what your friends are sharing. The new network section of the site features a Twitter-style timeline of links that have been shared by your Twitter and Facebook friends who are also on Bitly, essentially creating a social news feed. Saved bitmarks can be organized into bundles and shared with friends, and you can give them names and notes to make them easier to find. You also have the option to make links either private or public.
Outside of the site itself, Bitly has also introduced some new ways to save and access links, including an updated bookmarklet and Chrome extension. Both let you add details to a bitmark, and then either save it or both save and share it with friends. There's also a brand new iPhone app, though it's relatively basic in terms of features. You can use it to view and manage your saved links, as well as add new ones — simply copy a URL and once you enter the Bitly app you'll be prompted to save it. Unfortunately there's no word on when, or if, the app will be coming to other platforms. The changes certainly add a lot of extra functionality to the service, though we do miss the simplicity of the original — and based on the response on Twitter and the announcement post, reaction amongst users is mixed, with many complaining about the more complex interface.
You can check out the changes for yourself now, and get your hands on the iOS app from the source link below.