You’ve probably seen bit.ly URLs and wondered “Why is that URL so short?” The answer to that and other common Bit.ly questions are below.
What is Bit.ly?
Bit.ly, Inc. is a quick, and easy-to-use URL shortening service with some basic analytics capabilities tied to it.
Why is Bit.ly Used?
To make links shorter, less daunting and/or more attractive.
Consider the differences between the below two links:
How Does Bit.ly Work?
Bit.ly works by issuing a “301 redirect”: a technique for making a webpage available under many URLs. When you shorten a link with bit.ly, you are redirecting a click from bit.ly to the destination URL. A 301 redirect is the most efficient and search engine-friendly method for webpage redirection, and is what bit.ly uses. Because bit.ly doesn’t re-use or modify links, we consider our redirects permanent.
How Do I Use Bit.ly?
Just go to bit.ly and sign up for an account. You can instantly start pasting links into the account, and copy the shortened link for use.
When is Bit.ly Used?
Bit.ly is used in several instances, including social networking, text messaging (SMS) and email.
More specifically, when you are writing a message and would like to include a link, but the link is too long and daunting for the formatting of your piece, using a bit.ly link could help.
We use Bit.ly links most frequently in these instances:
- In social media posts (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) – it helps keep you under character limits
- In instances where HTML formatting is not an option, and you cannot link the words in your sentence
Is it a Free or Paid Service?
Bit.ly has both free and paid services. The free service provides everything discussed above.
Click here to learn about the difference between the free and paid Bit.ly features.
What Kind of Metrics Does Bit.ly Provide?
Bit.ly can also be used to analyze basic click activity from the link that you’ve shared.
Other Fun Facts About Bit.ly
- You can connect it to your Facebook or Twitter account to stream bitlink information into your account.
- You can create custom short domains to brand your content across the web. For example the New York Times uses “nyti.ms” as a custom short domain.
- You can create a bundle, which is a collection of bitlinks. These can be helpful for you or for your contacts in curating several links on a particular topic in one area.
We use Bit.ly links for social media posting because best practices suggest that long URLs are displeasing to the eye. They also give us a quick snapshot of how successful our social media posts have been online. For these reasons, we like the tool!