Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Burp! Bitly Swallows Twitterfeed.

This is the opposite of a megadeal, but still worth noting: Bitly, the Web-address shortener, has picked up Twitterfeed, which helps publishers automatically send their stuff to Twitter and other platforms.

By definition, this is an “acqhire.” Twitterfeed was essentially a one-man operation, and now that man — Mario Menti — is a Bitly employee.

But in this case, Bitly is also buying Twitterfeed’s small but important set of customers. The company has some two million users, who publish in the range of five million posts a day. Twitterfeed already used Bitly to automatically shorten those Web addresses, but now Bitly can lock that business up, or at least try to do so.

That’s important when big players like Twitter, Facebook and Google are increasingly looking to lock up or at least restrict the data they let out of their own ecosystems.

Bitly may also try to migrate some of Twitterfeed’s customers to SocialFlow, a more sophisticated Twitter publishing tool, which, like Bitly, is also a start-up built by the Betaworks guys.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work