If you are like me, you’ll have a list of apps/websites and services that you know and love. From time to time things need to change, push forward and indeed improve. When something changes that you are used to using in a certain way, it can throw a spanner in the works. A moment of blind panic can often quickly subside as you realise that things really aren’t that bad. But, every now and then, changes are made that perplex your brain and make you feel a little sick (ok, a slight exaggeration). This happened last week when the well established link shortening and tracking service known as bit.ly went through a major revamp.
When Simplicity is Cast Aside
I’ve used bit.ly for years, for a long time it was the best way to shorten your links for use on Twitter etc, it just worked well and the data it supplied for each link was very handy indeed. I logged in last week in order to reduce some linkage and was faced with the barftastic view below:
I feel to my knees and screamed to the web gods above ‘whhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, noooooooooooo, not bit.ly, he was too young to goooooo’. Ok, I didn’t, but my brain did boggle. Where is the crisp simplistic shortening interface I was used to? Too many menus, too many side widgets and a stupidly small little box to be used for yes, you guessed it, the key function of the site!!! It would appear that bit.ly is trying to become a tool for users to store and share links from. Did nobody tell them that there are numerous services out there that offer that exact thing?
Are They Listening?
The day the changes dropped, the bit.ly blog received an avalanche of negative feedback. You could almost hear the people at bit.ly cringing as their new baby was torn to pieces by a rather passionate community. That’s where the problems lie – why didn’t they go to their community in the first place and run some ideas by them? Is that too sensible? Or are the bit.ly’s of this world too damn arrogant to take such sensible steps? Facebook make regular changes that freak out their users, however they don’t really seem to listen to the negative feedback and just plough on. They can get away with that as they are really the only show in town. However that is not the case for bit.ly as there are numerous competitors on the market. In fairness to bit.ly, they are taking the negative feedback on board and making changes based upon it, but why put themselves in a such a position? Once people are gone, it can be very hard to claw them back. Social media allows for feedback on all levels, its about time businesses etc started using that feeback vessel in advance of major changes, as opposed to throwing things on the fire to see how they burn. I’m sure bit.ly will be ok, and I’ll continue to use it, however, this was a close one.
Has a service you love undergone some nasty changes recently? Have you stuck with it or moved on? Do tell in the comments below!
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