Bitly vs Owly: What’s the Best URL Shortener Service for You?

URL shorteners have become an essential tool for anyone looking to share links on social media or via email. Not only do they make links more manageable, but they also provide valuable analytics and tracking features that help you understand your audience better.

Two of the most popular URL shorteners in the market are Bitly and Owly. In this article, we’ll compare both services and help you decide which one is the best for you.

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All About Bitly

Bitly is a well-established URL shortener that’s been around since 2008. It’s popular for its link tracking and analytics features, as well as its robust customization options. Here are some of Bitly’s key features:

  • Link tracking: Bitly allows you to track clicks, engagement, and conversions for each link you share. You can use this data to understand your audience’s behavior and optimize your marketing strategies accordingly. They have a dedicated campaign section where you can organize your links in Bitly Campaigns and compare performance across channels
  • Customization: Bitly lets you customize your links with your own branded domain, making them more recognizable and trustworthy. You can create trusted links with your own branded domain.
  • Integration: Bitly integrates with popular marketing tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, and Zapier.
  • Link-in-bio: With Bitly, you can easily create a visually appealing page where you can share and manage all the important links that matter to you. Whether you’re a creator or a business owner, Bitly can power your Link-in-bio needs, as it does for hundreds of thousands of users.
  • QR Code: With Bitly, you can effortlessly create QR Codes using any short link. These QR Codes can be personalized and monitored to your liking

Pros and Cons of Bitly:

  • Powerful analytics features
  • Customization options
  • Integration with other marketing tools
  • The free version has limited and usable features
  • Meaningful analytics and metrics are hidden behind the paywall and available for premium users
  • Expensive for premium plans

READ ALSO: 7 Chrome Extensions Every Digital Marketer Should Install

Everything You Need to Know About Owly

Owly is an online tool that is free to use, but you will need a Hootsuite account (which is also free) to access it. Previously, anyone could use Owly without registering or logging in. However, now Owly is part of the Hootsuite dashboard, which makes it more secure for users. The registration process is simple and easy, so you can quickly gain access to this useful tool.

Here are some of Owly’s key features:

  • Link tracking: Owly provides basic link tracking features, including clicks, locations, and referral sources.
  • Simplicity: Owly’s interface is straightforward and user-friendly, making it easy to create and share links quickly.
  • Integration: Since it’s a part of Hootsuite, Owly integrates with popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Hootsuite is a widely used platform for managing social media. It enables you to handle all your social accounts in a single location.

Pros and Cons of Owly:

There are several benefits to using Owly.

  • All Owly-shortened URLs are SEO-friendly and can be indexed and redirected in accordance with best SEO practices.
  • You have control over who can shorten URLs by assigning access to specific team members.
  • Owly allows you to track clicks on shortened URLs from various sources such as Facebook, newsletters, comments, and micro-sites.
  • Owly checks all links against Google’s Safe Browsing blacklist to protect against malware and phishing attacks
  • Integrates with popular social media platforms
  • Limited customization options
  • Basic analytics features

Bitly vs Owly Free Features Comparison

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Bitly vs Owly’s key features:

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Link trackingAdvanced tracking and analyticsBasic tracking features
CustomizationCustom branded domainsLimited customization options
IntegrationIntegrates with various marketing toolsIntegrates with social media platforms
PricingExpensive for premium plansFree version is feature-rich
PaywallDoesn't need a credit/debit card to create an accountYou need a credit/debit card to create an account

Overall, Bitly is better suited for businesses and marketers who require advanced tracking and analytics features, while Owly is ideal for individuals and small businesses who need a straightforward, easy-to-use URL shortener. The fact that you need a debit/credit to register for a Hootsuite account is a big bummer and deters many people from using the platform.

Choosing the right URL shortener can make a significant impact on your marketing efforts. Both Bitly and Owly are excellent options, but they have their strengths and weaknesses. We recommend Bitly for businesses and marketers looking for advanced tracking and customization options, while Owly is an excellent choice for individuals and small businesses who prioritize simplicity and affordability.

Try both services out to see which one suits your needs best. Share with us in the comment section which platform you prefer and why.


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