A bit on URL's:
In a very generalized definition, a URL is just any web-address that you type into your Browser, to reach any online Website and generally follows the format: http://www.example.com.
What Bitly does:
Essentially, Bitly allows you to take a long URL or 'Link', and make it shorter. Take for example, this link from the +JeffBullas.com Blog:
Bitly turns this longer link into:
Though the link looks different, it funnels people to the same place online, and take up much less digital space.
Some social platforms (Twitter for example) only give users a limited amount of characters to write their posts, and long links take up unnecessary space.
Bitly is also a helpful organizational tool for storing a number of websites in one spot online, which users can access from any internet connection or mobile app - anyone that posts a lot of links to social networks may find it helpful.
Use Bitly without an Account:
If you prefer not to sign up for an account at with Bitly you can still go to their Homepage at bitly.com and enter any long URL you like to receive a custom Bitly one - They have a URL Shortening Tool directly on their Homepage - near #2 in the example image below.
1) Go to Bitly.com
2) Click Sign Up - located in the image above next to the #1
3) Use Your Account of Choice to Create an Account - My example uses Twitter
Enter your Username and Password if you selected either Facebook or Twitter respectively to authorize Bitly for an auto-setup. Or you can also enter your Email information.
Account Overview Once Signed In
1: Paste your long URL's here
2: Click here to share your link to Twitter, Facebook or send via Email. After clicking the share button a window will appear to let you customize your post
3: Click here to 'Edit' the Properties of your Bitly Link
4: Click here to Archive your Bitly Link
5: Click here to copy your Bitly Link to your clipboard - It can then be pasted elsewhere
6: Displays the privacy settings of your Bitly Link
7: Displays statistics relating to your shared Bitly Link
8: User settings
9: Click any of these to organize your Bitly Links, check link statistics and others users in your network
One of many Cool Features:
One easy feature to customize your links in Bitly, is by clicking the 'edit' button and changing the ending of any of your created URLs
In other words, taking this faux short-link for example: bit.ly/o8lkyUY - Bitly gives you the option to change that highlighted part at the end of the link, into whatever you want provided its not taken by someone else online - URLs need to be unique to work. So if the link above, connected to to a blog article about protecting Rainforests for example, you might change the ending of that Bitlink to bit.ly/SavetheRainforests or whatever else you might think of. To make this edit with any of your Bitly links simply click on the 'Edit Link' button from your Account overview page.
I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. Otherwise Happy Holidays to all - Cheers!
Other Helpful Links and Related Web Pages / Services
- Google Link Shortener for Chrome Browser: http://bit.ly/16t6xe4
*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the websites or companies listed in this post, which is intended for educational purposes. Thank you :)