The link shortening service has never been so popular as it is today. The first link shorteners were used almost on all social networks to fit the limited number of characters that could be used in text messages. Nowadays, they are not only used for such purposes but also because shortened links look nice and clean. They can also easily be shared with other users.
Popular cryptocurrency spheres (such as Bitcoin) use shortlinks for convenience and security reasons; if you're not sure who said what about your project, just follow the link cryptocurrency enthusiasts sent to each other – it will definitely lead you to an official website or a thread on a forum where you will find the information needed without having to search through countless posts and pages .
When we're talking about short links, the first service that comes to mind is definitely Bitly. It's not just popular but also frequently used by giants of social media and e-commerce all around the world. Facebook uses it in its ads reporting system, Twitter uses it for its link preview, Reddit uses it to automatically shorten links shared in posts or comments.
What makes Bitly special?
Bitly provides both - users and services - with a variety of features which make the use even more convenient. Among other things are:
- "Unshorten" function which allows you to check whether the link will lead where expected; this is especially important when dealing with shortened links from third-party sources or social media platforms (a lot of them don't always lead where they should);
- a real-time tracker allowing you to see the number of clicks every shortened link received in a given period of time;
- open source service that is free for everyone.
Without a doubt, Bitly is currently one of the most popular shortening services. It's also frequently used by many cryptocurrency businesses and communities who have been promoting it through their social media channels or on their official websites. In this article, we will take a look at how this cryptocurrency-friendly platform works and what its functions are.
2FA Security One of the main features of any shortening service worth its salt has to be security. It goes without saying that anyone who uses such a service regularly doesn't want to deal with hacked accounts, phishing sites and other online threats. This is why it's so important to always use secure services which offer two-factor authentication (2FA). Bitly offers 2FA protection as well as HTTPS encryption on all of its pages, so users can be sure that their information will be safe and sound no matter what.
On the other hand, we have to mention that we found a couple of bugs on Bitly's site security-wise. For example, there was no "HTTPS" option in the upper bar where you can switch between secure and regular version of the page; also, some pages worked only through HTTPS while others – only through HTTP. We tried contacting Bitly about these problems but haven't received any response yet; we hope they will be fixed soon.
What Bitly does really well is provide an open source service for everyone to use which means that if you want, you can easily check how your shortened link was created and make sure it's safe to click on before doing so. The only requirement is the link itself; all you have to do is put it into Bitly's search box and press "Enter". You can also choose if you want to see just standard or custom links by clicking the respective button at the top of the page just next to search field. For example, here are my personal statistics for this article .
When you access the statistics of any short link through Bitly, at first, it shows information about your personal statistics, then offers a link to the original page and a "details" option which will show you more information about the link itself.
The first thing that may be important for some users is their personal statistics. Here, you can see how many clicks your links received in total, where they were clicked from (country), what search engine or site was used with your shortened links and how it influenced their performance . You can also see detailed information about every click separately – e.g., what site did someone use to access your short URL? If this is an external source, does it belong to Bitly's partner network or do you own it yourself? These are all questions with answers provided by Bitly so here comes another advantage of using a secure service – you can be sure that all of the data is reliable and legit with no chance for fakes whatsoever.
What makes Bitly really stand out from other similar sites is the real-time tracker it offers. This function allows users to monitor how well certain links are performing in real time so they don't have to wait until their statistics are ready to see if it's worth sharing another link or not. You can check this information by accessing your account, clicking on any link you've shortened there and choosing "Details" option at the bottom of the page.
Stats Tracking Again, this data source will show you several different things about your short URL including its total stats, top countries where it has been clicked, top search engines and other details. But the real-time tracker let's you see even more! Each time someone clicks on your link, it shows how many times it has been clicked (which is different than total stats because it counts each click separately). You can also see where this click took place along with approximate location of your visitor. Moreover, if you check your extended information through "details" button mentioned above, Bitly will show you what site or search engine was used to access your link. It sounds perfect but unfortunately, we find this tracker to be somewhat inaccurate at times; e.g., sometimes 1-2 hours can pass before any statistics are shown so basically there's no way to know how many people clicked on certain links unless they are shared on social media.
On top of that, some links may not be tracked at all. This is especially common with direct shortened links – e.g., "hxxp://www.example.com/link123" instead of links used within posts or mentioned in long text articles . You can check for sure if your link is monitored by typing it into search bar and choosing the right option but there's also a special button next to every short URL which allows you to monitor it directly without leaving bitly site so this might solve any problems you've encountered so far.
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