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Happy 1st Birthday bit.ly, You Amazing URL-shortener, You!

July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday bit.ly!

On July 14, 2008, a huge rival to the industry giant, TinyURL, was born. And today, we celebrate the 1st birthday of what has become somewhat of a standard in the Internet world, Twitter adopting it as its second URL-child, developing and implementing amazing real-time stats, and not becoming just another short-lived web fad.

But in fact, it has been an amazing year! Going from only about 5,000 US visitors a month, to just above 4,000,o00! Most of that huge increase is due to Twitter switching its default URL-shortener from TinyURL to bit.ly, which, when combined with its sophisticated real-time link stats which let you could know about who was clicking, how often, and from where, and very user-friendly interface, makes so much sense. Also, bit.ly is a full five characters shorter, which makes those “Twitter-link-whores” VERY happy. Here’s a Compete.com chart of unique visitors to TinyURL.com and bit.ly:

In response, bit.ly’s summer intern, named “Steven,” made a blog post about it.

In that post, he said that there will be a special celebratory logo on their site, in the upper right-hand corner, and it looks like this: https://i1.wp.com/bit.ly/static/images/bday1_pfish_top.png

Second, you can now prefix any long URL (including the “http://”) with “bit.ly/” and be redirected to the main bit.ly page with the link automatically shortened for you. This makes it even easier to use bit.ly – if there’s a page you want to create a bit.ly link for, just jump to your browser’s address bar, add “bit.ly/” to the beginning of the current URL, hit enter, and you’re good to go.
So for example, say you wanted to shorten Twitter.com. First, visit the homepage. Then, add” bit.ly/” to the very beginning of the URL in the address bar and press “Enter.”  You then get redirected to this page where you can copy it and (if you have a free account on bit.ly) tweet the link from there. As simple as that!

Third, bit.ly now has a site-wide status message that will appear at the top of every page when they have something important to announce, whether it be scheduled server maintenance, a known issue with the site, or a new feature.

And finally, they’ve integrated “Large Font Technology” into the redesign of the info page (which you can get to by adding a “+” to the end of any bit.ly link). It’s now much easier to read the click counts for both your personal bit.ly links for a given long link and the shared bit.ly link for that same long link.

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