URL shortener bit.ly has announced some simple user interface changes for its standard users and a whole series of new features for paid users, including custom domain names and statistics.

While the standard user interface changes are neat, it's the "end-to-end branding" that we're actually looking forward to, as it should take a bit of that mystery meat feel out of our day to day online lives.

The biggest changes standard bit.ly users will see is the searchable history, which allows users to search through URLS they have added. Bit.ly has also tried to make it easier to manage the links you've added by adding a specific "Manage" section, which will show all the links with basic statistics on each, such as Twitter conversations and clicks. And all of a user's shared links will be available in RSS format.

As for the bit.ly's pro users, the service will begin offering a traffic dashboard, short domain redirection, unlimited API calls and, most importantly, a full "end-to-end branding". End-to-end branding means that if someone goes to shorten a New York Times URL, for example, they will end up with a link containing the nyti.ms short link instead of a standard bit.ly link. This will happen for all users, whether they shorten the link through the bit.ly website or through third-party Twitter clients such as TweetDeck, Twitterfeed and ÜberTwitter.

While this type of service is not only great for the website, its useful for the users too, because you don't have to blindly click on a shortened link. It keeps everything short and sweet for our Twitter character limit while giving us, the user, some clue of where we're going.