bitly 2012 logo
|Type of site||URL shortening, bookmarks|
|Alexa rank||288 (December 2013[update])|
bitly (formerly bit.ly) is a URL shortening and bookmarking service owned by Bitly, Inc., a Betaworks company. bitly is the largest link-sharing platform on the web, with over 8 billion clicks on bitly links each month, and 80 million new links created every day.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (May 2013)|
The bitly URL shortening service is popular on microblogging website Twitter because it was the default URL shortening service on the website since May 6, 2009, replacing TinyURL (Bitly has since been replaced by Twitter's own t.co service on Twitter). Several competing services, such as Trim, shut down their services after they found that it was difficult to compete with bitly on Twitter. In addition to its main URL shortening service, the website provides tools to view statistics related to users that click on generated links. The company behind Bitly launched a similar service, but for online videos, to determine what videos are the most popular on the web.
bitly uses 301 redirects for their links. Their links are intended to be permanent and cannot be changed once they are created. URLs that are shortened with the bitly service use the
bit.ly domain or any other generic domain that the service offers. For example,
bitly also offers a paid solution called Bitly Enterprise, that provides advanced branding features. Companies can use their own custom domains to generate shortened links; for example, The New York Times uses
nyti.ms, and Pepsi uses
pep.si. This allows the company to push brand awareness on services such as Twitter but use the Bitly engine to generate the shortened URLs and track marketing metrics. Bitly Enterprise also has advanced analytics features and uses bitly data to provide advanced social insight tools for companies and brands.
Information about any short bitly URL
http://bit.ly/x is available at
http://bit.ly/x+ (that is, the URL with a plus sign appended), for example
http://bit.ly/QtQET+. This allows users to see and check the long URL before visiting it.
On May 29, 2012 bitly announced some major changes and updates to their service in preparation of what it calls, "a new bitly". bitly announced a new bookmarking feature called "Bitmarks", a new search feature, enhanced public profiles as well as their first iPhone app.
On July 10, 2012 bitly announced it had raised $15 million in new funding led by Khosla Ventures. This announcement came only months after bitly redesigned its site, allowing users to not only shorten links but also use the site as a social bookmarker. bitly states that the site redesign has helped to increase daily registration by 300%.
On July 27th, 2012 bitly announced their new bitly labs project called realtime. realtime is an attention ranking engine, offering the power to navigate through the stories that the world is currently paying attention to. realtime allows you to filter attention by location, network, language, and topic. 
There are potential issues with the bit.ly domain, since it is controlled by the Libyan government, which has previously removed domains deemed incompatible with Muslim principles.
Any shortened URL generated with bitly can also be accessed by replacing that domain with any one of the following:
- bitly.com (registered to bitly).
- j.mp (registered to bitly, and the top-level domain of the Northern Mariana Islands, which is a commonwealth of the United States).
- A custom domain, registered separately by the user and redirected to bitly's servers via the DNS record.
- "Bitly.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
- "About bitly". bitly. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
- Wauters, Robin (May 6, 2009). "URL Shortening Wars: Twitter Ditches TinyURL For bit.ly". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- McCarthy, Caroline (August 10, 2009). "URL shortener Trim gets cut off". ZDNet. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Schonfeld, Erick (December 17, 2009). "Watch The Buzz On Bitly.TV". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- Ali, Imran (February 6, 2009). "bit.ly.Pro: Create Short URLs With Your Own Domain". GigaOM. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
- "What is bitly?" in the bitly Knowledge Base available at the http:/support.bitly.com/knowledgebase/articles/77224-what-is-bitly-
- Indvick, Lauren (December 17, 2009). "URL Shortener Bit.ly Now Generates QR Codes, Too". Mashable. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- Lardinois, Frederic (May 29, 2012). "Bitly Launches New Bookmarking Features, Profiles, Search & iPhone App". Techcrunch.com.
- Ha, Anthony (July 10, 2012). "Bitly Announces $15M Round Led By Khosla Ventures, Says Controversial Redesign Increased User Sign Ups". Techchrunch.com.
- Saturday, July 28th, 2012 (2012-07-28). "Bitly Announces Realtime, A Search Engine For Trending Links". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
- Horn, Leslie (2010-10-06), "Libya Seizes URL Shortener Vb.ly", PC Magazine, retrieved 2010-10-10