Bitly expanded its Certified Partner Program Wednesday by creating a vertical within the company to focus on tracking and analytics, naming Simply Measured and SumAll as the first platform companies to participate. Previously, the partnerships fell within the company's social publishing and brand advocacy business model, but the new vertical supports the shift in thinking among industry experts. "Bitly sits on a tremendous amount of data," said Jennifer Hanser, Bitly senior director of strategy and partnerships. "We track and analyze the performance of the assets. Whether it's branding a link or paid media assets, we can track how the encoding affects site performance and other types of earned social activity, for example Facebook Likes."
Bitly generates nearly half a billion links per month with about 8 billion clicks on those links from 97% of countries worldwide. Some 55% of clicks come from mobile. There are about 600 million assets, including links, encoded or shortened, every month.
The data creates patterns. Let's say a marketer's content links generate more consumer engagement on Facebook Sunday night about 8 p.m., but the Twitter activity is higher Monday morning when people get caught up on their news before starting their work day. The patterns also help marketers A/B test different links. Brand a link and customize the back half with the company's name and a call to action, per Hanser. "The customization could be a call to action," she said.
Bitly processes clicks from every social network, including 130 million clicks from Facebook daily. It also supports clicks across emails, SMS messages and other "dark places," along with blogs, and major publisher sites.
The company also has been experimenting with deep linking, something that's become popular as mobile apps and mobile Web continue to become more popular. There are a handful of companies like Facebook that deep link. "Our customers leverage these companies for specific functions and they encode the deep links through Bitly," Hanser said, though not part of the Certified Partner Program. "A customer will create a deep link and wrap it in a Bitly link."