URL Shortening: The Race For The Short Links Volume



MEXX.media business services ag 

Within the last two days the market for short URL services changed dramatically. Yesterday Google announced its own shortening service http://goo.gl and is directly challenging the current market leader bit.ly. And we are talking about volume: TechCrunch reports that in November 2009, the bit.ly service shortened 2.1 billion links, up from 11.8 million the year before, and it currently accounts for about three quarters of all short links on Twitter. But Google isn’t the only new challenger to bit.ly as facebook to announced a proprietary URL shortening service, called fb.me.

Bit.ly’s response was yesterday’s announcement of a new service called bit.ly Pro, which allows Web publishers to bit.ly to send out short links with their own branded (short) domain names such as nyti.ms, 4sq.com, mee.bo, or tcrn.ch. The Pro version includes a new real-time dashboard that will provide publishers with more information about their bit.ly traffic across networks like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace and services like email, SMS, and instant messenger. Publishers get a comprehensive analytics dashboard which shows real-time stats like the total number of clicks, and their distribution by geography and referring sites.

URL shorting is a smart concept. Shortening an URL generates a shortened URL and along with that valuable meta-data. As real-time streams increasingly become the new reality of the Web, the need for short links and their popularity will increase. The meta-data surrounding those links—who passed them, which are the most popular, which are rising, which are falling—is potentially very valuable. And the need to analyze those data forces bit.ly to develop powerful analytics tools. Bit.ly’s new dashboard is the real-time equivalent to Google Analytics. It seems that bit.ly is developing its own analytics environment for real-time traffic which is a necessary move as Google Analytics is not compatible with bit.ly.



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