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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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald