The social bookmarking service Bitly, recently announced a search engine tool that will be used to track the most successful viral news links across social networks in real time. According to the Bitly announcement, “Realtime” is an attention ranking engine which will allow users the power to navigate through stories the world is paying attention to at that current point in time.
Realtime will allow users to filter through content based on location, network, language, and topic, allowing a truly user-controlled experience across social networks. In order to keep relevant links and content available to users, Realtime fetches the content of every link saved or shared through the Bitly service. The content is then analyzed and models of human attention are built by analyzing the click distributions to the stories being viewed.
When logged into the service, trending topics across the “Bitlyverse” are displayed with a “clicks per minute” number next to the provided piece of content to indicate the amount of attention it is drawing. Six fields for search results allow for targeted content searching, from keywords and topics, all the way down to specific publication searches.
Here is a screenshot from the beta:
Bitly is continuing to expand beyond URL shortening, and the introduction of Realtime could make Bitly the premier destination for social attention ranking. Realtime is currently in private beta. Existing Bitly account users can log-in to their account and request access to begin using the service. Non-Bitly users can register via social login or create a new Bitly account in a few easy steps to receive access.