Bitly

Bitly - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Dann Albright
Written by Dann AlbrightLast updated April 8, 2019

In the days before link shorteners, it wasn't uncommon to share links that looked like this: http://www.myblog.com/posts/2018/07/25/this-is-the-problem-with-long-links-theyre-annoying-to-read-and-take-up-too-much-space. Link shorteners make URLs easier to read and share by taking long links and turning them into short ones. For example, this link might get shortened to my.blog/k893jb or even my.blog/long-links.

Bitly is one of the powerhouses of the link-shortening world—at the time of this writing, it's created over 40,000,000,000 shortened links. You can get started for free and without even signing up for an account. Just head to bitly.com, paste your link, and click Shorten. You now have a short link (a "bitlink") ready for sharing.

But signing up for a free account gives you access to the platform's real power. When you create a shortened link while signed in, Bitly keeps a record of it. Every link you've created is then displayed in your dashboard so you can browse or search for links you previously created. You can also add tags when you create your links to make it even easier to find them down the road. Click into the Add or create tags field below the URL, and type the tag you want. Then, to find links with a certain tag, click Filter Links By in the top-right corner of your dashboard, select Tags, and choose a tag to filter your list.

Bitly gives you a variety of information on each link, including how many clicks each link received; when it was clicked; whether it was clicked on social sites, in emails, or elsewhere; and the geographic location of the people who clicked it. You can also sort your links by performance to see which links are getting the most engagement. To do so, click Top Performing in the top-left corner.

Upgrading to the Enterprise plan gets you even more information. You can get custom branded links, so instead of bit.ly/247nbdk3 or bit.ly/newest-exciting-zaps, you could have something like yrsite.io/new. You also get detailed analytics dashboards, where you can track the success of different link-sharing campaigns across social, email, SMS, and other formats. And with both custom API and Zapier integrations, you can use Bitly's tools with all of your other business apps.

Bitly's mobile apps allow you to create, share, and track your links right from your phone. Bitly's browser extensions make link-shortening faster on the desktop, too. Click the extension icon, and you'll get a short link to the page you're on, ready to tag, customize, or share.

Bitly gives you a lot of power for shortening, sharing, and tracking your links. Small businesses, freelancers, and data enthusiasts will all appreciate its insights.

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Bitly Features

  • Shorten URLs to make them easier to read and share.
  • Track your shortened links to see which get the most engagement, including data on when and where people are clicking your links.
  • Use tags to organize and find shortened links you've created in the past.
  • Create shortened links quickly from the Bitly browser extension.
  • iOS and Android apps available.

Bitly Pricing

  • Free basic plan for unlimited link sharing and tracking with bit.ly domain.
  • Variably priced Enterprise plan for custom branding, advanced dashboards, and link-sharing campaign tracking. Get in touch with Bitly for specifics on Enterprise pricing.

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