Our social Web is a busy, data-intensive place. Twitter sees 1 billion tweets in a week, Facebook now has 800 million users, and those are just the big players, neither of which was around eight years ago. The social Web is still relatively young, and growing.
Like the Web itself, baked into the heart of much of our social experience is the good, old fashioned hyperlink. The only difference is that the social Web requires shorter links, which simplifies them visually, but adds another technical layer between users and the content they're trying to access.
Bit.ly redirects as many as 8 billion of those links in a given month. To help further strengthen the reliability of its shortened URLs, Bit.ly is going right to the root of the Web's infrastructure.
The company recently announced a partnership with Verisign, a key player in that infrastructure which oversees two of the Internet's thirteen root nameservers, serves as the registry operator for the .com and .net top-level domains, and has a vital role in the Internet's DNS architecture.
Verisign is already resolving billions of DNS queries, translating long URLs into the IP addresses where sites actually live. Now, Bit.ly is going to move its main data center onto Verisign's architecture, a move that the URL-shorterning service promises will provide "completely reliable and blazingly fast" short URL redirects.
The company also cites the value the partnership will bring in terms of large-scale data analysis. Reads a Bit.ly company blog post:
"Verisign's architecture has been integral to the growth and stability of the Internet at large, and we could not be more excited to work with them. Scientists at both companies are already poring over volumes of DNS resolution data - data that will help us answer fundamental (and fundamentally awesome) questions like: "what actually are the most popular websites on the Internet?" and "just how big is the Internet, anyhow?""
Between billions of DNS queries and billions of short URL redirects, there's quite a bit of data to analyze. We've already seen Bit.ly do interesting things with the data they have on their end, so we can only imagine the kinds of insights this new partnership will bring.