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Bitly: Shorten Links, Capture Data And Drive Engagement With The Leading URL Shortener

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Overview:

Ever tried to email or share an URL with someone that is about hundreds of characters long and poses to be a paradox? It is not just annoying for you and that person, but the possibilities of that person (with whom you shared the URL), actually visiting the site is very less. This is due to the fact that generally people’s mindset perceive the long URL to be a set of ridiculous characters which may not direct to a trusted site. URL Shorteners like Bitly, Google URL Shortener and TinyURL are loaded with an army of tools and statistics have the ability to shorten URLs that can be easily shared and entered without error.

We will focus on Bitly in this article, as it is the most popular URL shortening service having over 8,179,229 URLs and 600 million links which are getting shortened in a month. Bitly was launched in the year 2008 and it became popular on Twitter due to the fact that it was the default URL shortener on the website. Even when Twitter subsequently replaced Bitly with its own service, people had already started to use Bitly which had gained in popularity over a period of time and since then people have been harnessing the power of the link through the service and capturing data and driving engagement with their fanbase and a large qualified audience.

Bitly0

How to use Bitly?

Visit the Bitly Website and copy and paste your long URL in the text box. Bitly will immediately shorten the URL. Copying the shrinked URL is extremely easy as you can click the copy button, the URL is instantly copied.

bitly_copy_url

You can also install the +Bitmark bookmark bar in your browser to shorten and share URLs right from your browser. There is also a Bitly app available for iOS and Android. In addition, Bitly has a WordPress plugin that can automatically create Bitlinks (A Bitlink is the term for a  Bitly shortened URL) for new posts that are published with Bitlinks pushed to your social sharing tools which works for wordpress.org.

To access the statistics of your link, you need to register on Bitly and then navigate to the Stats page where you will be able to see the analytics. The analytics will show you the total number of clicks that was generated with your link in a particular time period. It will also show you the number of referrers (eg: Email Clients, IM, Air Apps, Direct etc.) and also the location of the people who have clicked your links.

link-analytics-bitly-info-1024x953

Features of Bitly that you can leverage:

Bitly contains some extensive options and advanced features like allowing to take full control of your brand and to capture the data. Also, the interface is well tailored as it provides smarter analytics allowing you to use your custom domain and the option to privatise links and archive the URLs. Bitly allows easy sharing of your shortened links on Facebook and Twitter. With the API key one can automatically shorten links with 3rd party apps like Twitterfeed. Bitly showcases real-time metrics as it gathers for a specific link. It can provide real-time web analytics which can track and compile data generated from clicks. Using Bitly can further help drive efficiency and performance of your strategy and tactics across all marketing technologies. Another useful additional feature of Bitly allows to track a Facebook ID of a user who has clicked your link. A few upcoming features of Bitly are segmentation of audience based on Device Type, Geolocation, Demographics and Interests, Branding & Re-targeting, Goal Management, Audience Syndication, Cross-channel engagement, Specialised messaging and Predictive Modelling.

Advantages of using short URLs:

People generally tend to share short URLs as they are easily readable and to remember. Also, people generally feel accustomed to short URLs and the links can also easily fit in a tweet of 140 characters.

Limitations of Bitly:

  • Bitly no longer allows the feature to assign QR Codes to URLs making it their biggest drawback.
  • The bit links generated by Bitly cannot be redirected or deleted. If a link needs to be removed, you will have to first archive the link.
  • Competitors like fur.ly allow to shorten multiple URLs into one and the user can view by segregating them page by page.
  • Bitly cannot share a bunch of shortened URLs with one short link like fur.ly does.
  • People can misuse the service by preparing and modifying a list of malicious URLs that are phishing and spam and Bitly will need to periodically check their database for existing URLs. They will also need to notify users of a malicious URL before he/she accidentally or intentionally clicks it and also blacklist the URL.
  • Bitly also does not have a system where a user can monetize external links (a pay-per-click system) and make money from their links like https://shorte.st or https://coinurl.com does.
  • If an email contains a Bitly link, it does not make it through Gmail’s spam filter to the inbox.

Conclusion:

There is no limit to innovation. We all know that new URL Shorteners with more useful and out-of-the-box features will be on the rise all the time and the existing URL Shorteners like GoogleURL Shortner and HootSuite’s URL Shortener are already competing against Bitly’s features. Some of Bitly’s standout features like providing more in-depth analytics/viewer statistics like demographics, location and also an option to promote Bitlinks to a custom audience just like how Facebook and Twitter does it through their Ads, must be free to a basic Bitly user to actually make the service still popular. Also, it would also be great if Bitly could come up with a reward system in place that gifts points to users when other people start clicking on their links, allowing users to later redeem the points for exciting prizes/movie tickets/ Amazon Shopping Vouchers etc. If the above mentioned points are implemented, it would definitely serve as a cut above the rest and users can shorten links with utmost confidence keeping the benefits of Bitly’s features in mind and boldly continue their pursuit to unleash the power of the link.

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  • There are 2 comments


    • 3 years ago

      Satish   /   Reply

      URL Shortener has emerged as a very significant tool in the era of social media. Bitly championed it and it’s role in optimising the 140 character tweet is a great breakthrough though, later on, twitter came up with its own shortener.

      Good insights by Digital Vidya, Thanks!

    • 3 years ago

      source webpage   /   Reply

      It is a wonderful along with useful little bit of data. I’m delighted you provided this helpful information and facts with us. Make sure you stop us updated similar to this. Appreciate your expressing.

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