Today link shortening service Bit.ly introduced a redesign that turns it into something more than a link shortener, compromising what made Bit.ly so desirable in the first place.
The new design, which Bit.ly announced in a blog post this morning, makes the service more like a social network. Many blogs have compared it to Pinterest, Delicious or even Twitter, with the introduction of "bitmarks," which work like bookmarked links that users can share and search and whatnot. These come as recommendations from the site and show up in a Twitter-style stream. It's not all about shortening anymore. It's about that beloved Internet word: Sharing. That's fun and all, if you're into that, but for those who liked Bit.ly for a quick, easy, Twitter-friendly link, the new design lacks that simplicity that made shortening so breezy. Things got complicated.
It's not that new Bit.ly got rid of its link shortening roots altogether, it just isn't the main event anymore. Whereas the old design had a big giant, impossible-to-miss link shortening box right on the homepage, the new design relegates that to a tiny search bar size field on the top right of the page. Here's an old screenshot of old bit.ly, which as you can see just asked the user to paste a link and voila, would spit out a shorter one.