Bit.ly just raised $10 million in series B funds. Betaworks CEO John Borthwick anounced the round in a blog post, where he also dropped some data about the company’s growth.
Until April of this year bit.ly was the default link shortener for Twitter. When that honeymoon ended, many speculated that bit.ly’s growth would suffer.
It’s true that Twitter now represents a much smaller portion of bit.ly’s links. But the number of people clicking on bit.ly links all across the web has doubled since this time last year.
Borthwick sees the company’s success as a confluence of, “Three broad market trends: the growth of content sharing via social services, the growth of mobile, and the emergence of ‘the web of things’.”
In layman’s terms: as people and machines begin to communicate with each other more frequently on smaller devices the need for a language of shortened links is growing.
The company will certainly have stiff competition. Twitter and Google have both launched their own link shortners. But bit.ly has a head start and big customers like Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and Pepsi.
The larger picture is the treasure trove of data that bit.ly is collecting about user activity. What tweets get clicked on, by who and when.
This kind of information is extremely valuable to publishers, like the New York Times, which recently announced a partnership with Betaworks to create a service called News.me.
“New York is a combination of big data downtown and big media uptown,” says Borthwick, who’s offices are in the Meatpacking District. “We like to think we sit right in the middle.”