Bitl.y’s Realtime Engine Can Make Viral Discovery Easy

Realtime Social Media analysis is the pot of gold for brands and analytics companies in addition to news freaks. We had Google’s realtime trends until their relationship with Twitter fell apart. Now Bit.ly, the URL shortening service has tried its hand at real time social feeds. Called ‘Realtime’ this new search engine pulls data from all major social networks based on a number of parameters like keywords, topic, social networks, location, domain and language. The options are detailed and you can zero into the right kind of content with the right parameter.

Unfiltered trends

I signed up for their beta a week back or so and I recently got an invite. Bitly have made it clear that Realtime is still an experiment and may suffer from some inaccuracies. There is only one way to find out.

Realtime works on bitmarks which are basically bitly links which relate to a particular URL. Once a URL is ‘bitlyed’, you can use to check the clicks and reach it has gotten on its travel through social media. Realtime depends on this particular Bitly setup to index such bitmarks and give a realtime result based on the parameters that you have keyed in. So basically, they are using one successful service which generates a lot of data to feed in data onto another one. I think it is a genius move. Bitly needs these genius moves to stay relevant as it is now not the only URL shortener around. Every social network and third party service now offers their own URL shortener. Thus, we can see what Bitly is aiming at. A more advanced version of realtime can become a paid service which can be used by Enterprises to do analytics regarding the market or to check up on competition.

The picture below shows what I keyed into Realtime and the results I got.

Filters applied

The results shown are good enough but it is no Google and I am not holding it against Bitly. There is a limitation to social search. You can only search topics and links being shared by the people in realtime and not expect it to index everything like Google. Thus if you put the keywords in you will only get stuff that is being shared via the Bitmarks, which is a bit limiting in itself since many services have their own shorteners and the results displayed might not be representative of all that is being shared on social media. However, a lot of people do stick with Bitly and thus you can have a good idea of the content being shared and how viral it is.

As you can see from the images, Realtime tells you how many times a link is getting clicked a second. This is also a measure of its virality. This is a fascination measurement method and I have not come across it anywhere else. There is no advanced analytics as of now since it is a limited beta but I am guessing that it will soon be added.

Website | Realtime


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