As many of you might already know, Bitly is the largest Link Shortening service. In fact, it is the one responsible for ushering the world into the concept of short links four years ago. Since then, it has been extensively been used to replace long URLs into a collection of just a few characters, which can be easily shared on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. It came is handy especially for twitter, where there is a character limit on tweets. Well now, after almost four years, Bitly has finally collected enough data to create a whole new search engine of its own! Bitly calls it "Real-time", and describes it as an "Attention Ranking" Search Engine. Although still in its beta phase, it has been rolled out to the public. It can be accessed at http://rt.ly.
What is the Realtime project?
No, it isn't another search engine like Yahoo or Bing that've been inspired by Google. Well, inspired maybe. Competition, no. Bitly's Realtime is a different sort of search engine. It can be thought of as a cross between Google's search, and Twitter's Trending topics.
Bitly has been hard at work expanding its business influence. In January, it updated its enterprise dashboarding system, and it redesigned its structure in May, which made it more of a Social Bookmarking service than a URL shortner. With a latest round of funding by Khosla Ventures, and the announcement of this new search engine, it's pretty clear Bitly wants to make a much greater mark on the internet.
How does it work?
Bitly's Realtime is aimed at providing users with the most viral news at the moment from around the world. It tracks every URL that has been shortened, and then shared on social media. The top links clicked every minutes are listed in the Realtime news feed.
That isn't the power of the project though, far from if. The really useful feature comes with the search filters. It has really easy to use search filters. Like any search engine, you can search for news based on keywords. You can also bring up targeted results based on country, and even audience's language. Just like Google's site search feature, you can search keywords from any single domain (such as mybloggertricks.com).
The most powerful features though, are search by Topic, or search on social media. There's a list of topics you can choose from. Additionally, you can choose from among five social medias presently, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Ameblo (a Japanese Social network-cum-blogging community). You can, for example, search for "best strategies" (keyword) for "advertising" (topic) on Twitter (social network).
Join the service now!
For bloggers, every new internet service that they can somehow use is a possible opportunity. A lot of you might already be shortening your links to share on Twitter and other social media. If you already are using Bitly, then there's good news for you! Your content might get searched, making your content viral and reachable to a whole new audience you never knew existed!
Remember that this search engine relies only on the data from links that have been shortened using Bitly. If you've never used Bitly to shorten your links, then your content will not be searched, simple as that!
This service not only encourages users to use Bitly's link shortening service, but also to share their content on social media. The incentive being a potential for a lot more traffic. Millions of people are looking for the most popular and recent news at any time. The Realtime news feed could be another source for them. This is a whole new concept, and has a lot of potential to grow. Well played Bitly. I'm sure many others will now follow their lead.
So get yourself registered with Bitly now, and start shortening and sharing to get your awesome content listen and become reachable to millions of people worldwide!
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