With almost 27 billion links, or “Bitlinks,” shortened since launch, Bitly is probably the most recognizable link-shortening service on the Web. While anyone can shorten a URL through Bitly for free, Bitly has also emerged as a key tool for marketers to track how their content is being shared online and even drive traffic to mobile apps. But more than that, businesses have also been able to procure branded short links, where the “bit.ly” or “bitly.com” element of the URL is replaced by a company’s own shortened domain name.
The New York-based company said that it will be generating SSL certificates for what amounts to more than 40,000 Bitly-branded domains, with all links created through the platform now served as secure HTTPS links.
Shortened URLs give little clue as to where the links may lead. A shortened URL could indicate a malicious website, for example, so with HTTPs now in the mix, Bitly hopes to bring a little peace of mind to not only its customers, but to its customers’ customers.
“Our upgrade will create a more secure Internet for our customers, and will specifically help our customers build trust with their users,” said Matt Thomson, CPO at Bitly. “This move is a stand against malicious Internet activity and its negative impact on good customer experience.”