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When Twitter vaulted into crazy popularity someone really smart saw that we needed a way to shorten our links. Pasting long URLs into our tweets and using up so many of those valuable 140 characters just wasn’t cutting it.

social media, linke shortening, Twitter, social media vocabulary

Link shortening wasn’t invented for Twitter, but it soon became its most popular use and URL shorteners seemed to pop up everywhere. One of those that was there from the beginning and still dominates is bit.ly. When Twitter switched to bit.ly it quickly passed up tinyurl to become the biggest link shortening service out there.

Somewhere along the line, almost quietly it seems, bit.ly launched what they call bit.ly Pro. With a Pro account, which is provided completely free, you can use a custom domain to shorten links. Services that do the same, like awe.sm start at $129 a month. If you are willing to spend about $10 dollars on a custom domain to register it, you can use bit.ly to shorten those links and also get basic analytics from them.

With all of the international domain endings coming available, the possibilities are exciting. If you have company, a blog, or just do a lot of link sharing and want a unique extra something in the branding department, bit.ly Pro is the way to go. For example a few companies you may have heard of use bit.ly with their custom URL to share their links. Pep.si, yhoo.it, 4sq.com, cs.pn are Pepsi, Yahoo, Foursquare, and C-Span respectively.

If you want a custom short URL of you very own, check out a domain registry site and look through the possible endings like .ly, .es, .co, etc. and see if the one you want is available. For example we wanted waffl.es, but it is taken so we’re thinking about other ones. Once you have the domain you want, sign up for bit.ly Pro and you have got awesome personalized short links. It can really add a special something to your tweets and overall image. Not a lot of people out there using link shorteners have a custom one and it will definitely catch people’s eyes. With so many links being shared on Twitter, you are battling for those clicks, and this is another great weapon. It’s not just for huge companies!