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New York-based URL shortener Bit.ly is being courted by a number of companies, chiefly among them is Yahoo. If Bit.ly were acquired by Yahoo, it would be another piece in what appears to be a big social media push from the former search king. Rumors have been flying for months that Yahoo is also in talks to buy up location-based social networking company Foursquare.
Yahoo has become more of a content company as Google has taken over direct search. Since Yahoo's user base is mostly about content consumption, it makes sense to use social media to make their existing properties more interactive. What they are looking at is social aggregation; pulling in their users' activities from around the web to a Yahoo hub.
Bit.ly's real usefulness is to Yahoo wouldn't be its ability to shorten URLs, but rather the performance tracking of shortened URLs. This is going to be an integral part of the real-time web. We're passing the point that delayed web metrics can be of use. Where do you see Yahoo's strategy going?