Bitly (bit.ly) is a webservice that transforms undesirably long URL links into neat and tidy short links. The tool uses the bit.ly API which developers can implement in their websites and applications. URLs to often are long and cumbersome and when it comes to social media sites like Twitter, the link takes up too much space!
Consider this link to a video on College Humor’s website.
Pretty long yeah? I think http://bit.ly/tDvK5N is much better!!
If you are sent a bit.ly link, I highly recommend that you decode it before you click it! You’ll notice that the shortened link no longer has any distinguishing characteristics that would tell you where the link takes you and for what purpose. This means unfortunately that you cannot know for sure whether you are really going to the funny video your friend sent you, or to a devastating virus or a phishing site that wants to steal your personal info!
If you are given a bit.ly link, go to this bit.ly shortened URL expander. Just paste in the link and it will magically decode it and tell you exactly where that link points!