Shades of Twitter and Delicious in New Bitly Release

The new version of the link-shortening service looks more like a social network.

Bitly links are now “bitmarks.”

New York-based link shortening service Bitly just launched a major redesign that emphasizes link sharing similar to Twitter or the once-popular bookmark service Delicious.

The old Bitly centered around shortening links and publishing them to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Log into the new Bitly and you’ll see something that looks more like a social network itself. You’ll see a stream of your own share-worthy links and a separate stream of links from your network. Bitly is now calling these shortened links “bitmarks,” a souped-up version of bookmarks.

You can write in a title and a note for each bitmark, which is automatically saved. You can make each bitmark public or private. Bitmarks can also be saved together in “bundles,” which can be collaboratively edited. You can then search all your saved bitmarks.

In the “network” view, bitmarks are displayed in reverse-chronological order with titles, photos and descriptions. Bitly attributes the bitmark to the original source—Newsweek, for example, and even pulls the site’s favicon. It also shows who shared the link. (More new lingo: Bitly users are now “bitizens,” apparently.)

If your network is full of super-sharers, you may want to employ another one of Bitly’s new tricks: the mute button, a function that is likely to be so appreciated that its existence alone could give Bitly a boost over Twitter.

Bitly is now a full-fledged link sharing service. The site has saved more than 25 billion links since 2008. “We want this to be the single best place for you to save and share your links and to discover interesting things from your friends and the entire web,” the company said this morning.

The overhaul isn’t a total surprise. The Verge reported two weeks ago that Bitly is raising a big round of funding, with new consumer products expected, and Bitly CEO Peter Stern confirmed to Betabeat that the company is in the process of raising money. Shades of Twitter and Delicious in New Bitly Release