Anyone else go to use bit.ly today and find the easy-to-use interface for shortening links and tweeting them had been replaced by a convoluted mess?
If so, you are not alone. The comments section for the blog post announcing this change is nearly-universally negative.
I understand the need to be innovative and expand a product. Perhaps bit.ly wants to be more like Digg or Reddit. This may be the first of several steps to monetize bit.ly. After all, it is a free service and maybe we should all calm down about this change.
The issue, though, is that it’s not about money. It’s about trust. Like I mentioned a year and a half ago when Tumblr went down, if money had been on the line, we could ask for a refund. There would be recourse. Since it’s free, bit.ly only has our trust to rely on. Break that trust, and users might leave.
I am beyond frustrated at this point after only using it twice. Bit.ly has always been about shortening links and then tweeting them; organizing short links as a secondary consideration. They have not only complicated this model, but inverted it. If Google’s goo.gl would integrate its service with Twitter, bit.ly would be buried. But since that will never happen, I hope bit.ly listens to the criticism and brings back the simple, easy-to-use form.
If you have any short-cuts, bit.ly alternatives or just want to vent, please post a comment.