Using bit.ly to create (cooler) short links

Ok, so everyone knows six ways to create short links, and bit.ly (or bitly.com) was among the first. Yep, knew that!

Short links have a number of advantages:

  • They have less characters, making them ideal for twitter and other places where long URLs are inconvenient.
    Note: Hootsuite and other social aggregators have built-in shorteners as well, though to my knowledge they are not customizable.
  • Registered short links provide tracking information
  • Customized short links may be easier to remember and type than their expanded final URL

So if you take a minute to register an account with bit.ly, you can create custom, saved, short links for your content. Short links, that you might actually remember! Even if you can’t remember the exact link, you can visit the bit.ly page to see the links you’ve already created. Here’s an example of an easy link that performs a Google search for my social media ID. I use it whenever someone wants background, or “vetting” information.

Screenshot 2014-09-04 17.16.06

Here are short links I’ve created using my account:

The only trick is that you must choose a string that is unique. That means sometimes you may need a longer string than if you use the jumbled generated link provided by the service. However, with a little creativity, you have something memorable, and you also have the ability to get stats on the clicks via the bit.ly website.

It’s also worth noting for Google Apps users, the Google Short Links app provides similar custom naming functionality.

I hope you get a chance to use one of these services for your important links.

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