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Number Crunch: Bit.ly

Let’s face it, no-one likes the look of a clunky URL no matter how interesting the title. Thankfully Bit.ly has been helping shrink our links into digestible morsels for the past eight years.

But there’s much more than link-shortening (and an awesome logo) to Bit.ly. Read on the find out more.

Bits and bobs

Bit.ly was formed in 2008 and is based in New York City.

The service really took off when it became Twitter’s default URL shortening service in 2009, and has so far shortened over 24 billion links.

Data driven

Over a typical month Bit.ly shortens 600 million links. All those links contain valuable parcels of data.

Bit.ly offers a robust analytics service that shows you where your links were most active (for example, Facebook or Twitter).

You can also see where your links have been shared and saved, as well as which third-party websites have clicked your links. We also like the way Bit.ly allows you to keep track of your competitors' links.

Branding

Bit.ly also lets you tweak your links. So you might want to change the end of your link to “love.this” for “funny.vid” for shareable content.

Brands can also customise their links. For example the New York Times uses nyti.ms, while Pepsi’s URLs appear as pep.si.

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