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Don’t Use Bit.ly’s New Mobile Site: Do This Instead

March 18th, 2011 03:56 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

URL shortener Bit.ly launched a new mobile site today and it’s a pretty good combination of quick, easy and powerful. If you’re browsing the web on your phone and you want to share a link with someone – why not jump over to Bit.ly mobile and shorten it first? That way you can easily get all kinds of analytics on who clicked through it, where they were and more.

It’s frustrating, though, that the company didn’t just improve its Bit.ly sidebar experience on mobile devices. If you’re willing to grab and use the javascript from the Bit.ly sidebar button (we’ve embedded it below for your convenience) – you’ll be a lot happier in the long run. How many clicks does it take to shorten and put on your clipboard a link with the new Bit.ly mobile site? 13. With the sidebar javascript? 4! That sounds like an obvious choice to me.

How to do it: Copy the code above, email it to yourself, open the email on your phone, copy the text of the code, then go to your phone’s bookmarks. Edit one (you probably want to create something random just for this) and then replace the existing bookmark URL with the code above. Boom, you’re set.

(Bit.ly HQ pinged me after I posted this and pointed out that if you log in to a Bit.ly account, there is a copyable code snippet in a bookmark page in the settings page. If you’ve got a Bit.ly account, that is all the easier.)

Unfortunately, the resulting sidebar is really ugly on mobile devices. I’ll take fast and ugly over slow and pretty, though. Ultimately, I blame Apple. They make it absurdly difficult to work with javascript and the clipboard and more. That’s why I can’t have my precious Apture on my iPad. It’s like they are trying to ruin my life.

Either way – wouldn’t you rather shorten links and get their analytics in 4 clicks than in 13? I sure would. Then you can go to the Bit.ly mobile site to view all the analytics. The toolbar method won’t do the offline shortening that the new Bit.ly mobile site does, but that doesn’t seem like a very big deal to me.

Source: Don’t Use Bit.ly’s New Mobile Site: Do This Instead

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