Bitly responds to criticism, restores simple URL shortening

Bitly stirred up a lot of criticism late last month when it redesigned its URL shortening service with an eye toward becoming more of a hub for saving and sharing links and content. One of the chief complaints was that Bitly’s signature URL shortening was hidden and harder to use.
Well, Bitly has heard the cries of its users and has restored some of the simple link shortening that made it popular to begin with. Now, instead of asking people to “Add a bitmark,” which was unfamiliar to many people, Bitly asks people to “Paste a link here,” in the top right field. The link will then be instantly saved for later use and a shortlink will automatically appear in a pop-up window without requiring extra clicks. The shortlink is also easier to see instead of being relegated to the bottom of the page in the initial redesign.The new changes get at some of the major criticism of the Bitly redesign, which many called unnecessarily complex, taking a one-step process and turning it into three clicks.

Bitly’s browser tools, its “bitmarklet” and Chrome extension, have also been tweaked and now include a confirmation step. Users were accidentally creating duplicate shortlinks because of the one-click save feature. Users can restore the one-click feature in their browser settings if they want keep things speedy.
There are some other small improvements that Bitly lays out in a blog post. Bitly’s overall redesign, however, still emphasizes the service’s broader mission to help people save and share their links. Feedback, as harsh as its been recently, is still welcome, it said.
“This relaunch is to help more people take advantage of what Bitly has to offer and expose useful, but buried, features in the old bitly – features that people wanted but most could not find or use well. We also added features that you have been asking for all along, such as the ability to easily find previously saved links, decide what links are private versus public, collaborate on bundles and more,” the company said in its blog post. “We’ll keep rapidly iterating to improve and smooth out rough edges based on our conversations with you.”