bit.ly is a free service for shortening URLs, or web addresses. This is really useful for sharing links on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere you want to post a short message.
bit.ly offers more than just URL shortening, and you can also get statistics on the performance of the links you have shared. Sign up for a free account and you'll get in-depth analysis of each of your links. See how many times they were clicked and from where. For businesses using social media as marketing tools bit.ly is a great way to see if your messages are getting through to your target customers.
The website is extremely well designed, managing to be both functional and attractive. bit.ly comes with a number of tools, which allow you even quicker access to URL shortening. There's a bookmarklet and browser add-ons so you'll always have the service at hand.
bit.ly is an excellent service, and its only problem is one that all URL shorteners have, which is not always looking trustworthy, Shortened URLs should still only be opened if from trusted sources.
If you're on Twitter, bit.ly is an essential service. For the rest of us, it's just more efficient sharing short URLs instead of really long ones!