Bit.ly provides the five main things I was looking for in a link sharing/shortening tool:
- Simplicity – visit any page and click a browser bookmarklet.
- Shortening – very small urls which means you have plenty of characters left to describe the link.
- Publishing – easily publish to twitter. As soon as you shorten the link you are presented an option to publish right to twitter.
- Stats – nothing earth shattering, but it nice to see which links/descriptions get the most clicks.
- Direct links – users who click a link I tweet go directly to the link. There is no framing or second click required. For a while I was using Tumblr (which I love), but this required an extra click which sucked.
Another very interesting option is ow.ly. It has one really nice feature that bit.ly is missing; scheduled tweets. This way instead of blasting your followers with a bunch of links in one batch you can schedule them out over a couple of hours. However, it has one huge issue, no direct links. Even worse they frame the link which is a very confusing experience.
Bit.ly is also available via an API which means I can also use it from with in TwitterFeed as well.
Any other recommendations?