RRE Ventures-Backed Bitly Offers Reputation Monitoring for Professional Users, Plans More Services

10/24/11Follow @jpruth

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co-founded Zenbe, which sold its e-mail product to Facebook last November. He also co-founded online financial brokerage Datek Online, which was acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2002. Bitly grew again in August when it acquired Twitterfeed, which lets users automatically tweet new blog posts from RSS feeds.

Stern says bitly, over the course of more than one year, developed its own search engine that generates results based on cross-platform social engagement—meaning it displays search results based on link sharing and link clicks. Based on that technology, bitly launched its reputation-monitoring platform on Oct. 13. Users can track changes associated with specific content to identify, in real time, when content goes viral.

Currently only bitly users with enterprise accounts are participating in the reputation-monitoring beta test. Those customers include e-commerce and media companies of various sizes, Stern says, but he would not disclose names. After users receive e-mail alerts from the reputation monitoring system, they can view an online dashboard with graphs and other data that show the social engagement associated with the topic.

Stern says bitly’s technology produces these results faster than other search engines, which typically use Web crawling software. He also says the service appeals to content publishers and other companies that do not want to waste time trying to track how they are trending among social forums. “Our search is based purely on engagement patterns, on people clicking on content on Twitter or Facebook,” Stern says.

Bitly, founded in 2008, is also backed by Betaworks, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Social Leverage, SV Angel, Founders Fund, The Accelerator Group, Jeff Clavier and SoftTech VC, David Shen Ventures, Ron Conway, Peter Hershberg, Chris Sacca, Mitchell Kapor, Joshua Stylman, and Howard Lindzon.

The data behind link sharing may not be not terribly sexy to the average person. But bitly has plans to develop new services for the general masses, in addition to professional users. “We are working on consumer-oriented products around social sharing,” says Stern, adding that it’s too early to disclose details. “The data we have can be hugely impactful to anybody who is trying to share content digitally.”

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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