Rashid Umar is an online media professional who specializes in web content production, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. You can connect with Rashid via social media or on his personal website at www.rashidumar.com.
Last week, I received an email from a group forum dedicated to discussions on social media, and an interesting question was posed about shortened URLs that sparked the debate: ow.ly vs. bit.ly?
The group member simply asked, which tool would we prefer to use to send tweet, via the Social Media management systems: Buffer, Hootsuite, Timely, TweetDeck, and other.
Although the runaway winner was Hootsuite, one other member raised an interesting point about why he was in favor of Buffer instead.
I particularly like buffer because if allows you to use the bit.ly to shorten your tweets, which is more widespread when you are looking to analyze your social metrics. With Hootsuite, I believe they use .owl to shorten the tweets, and therefore you have to use their analytics. Let me know if this is correct or not.
I first had to gather a better understanding of what the significance of bit.ly and ow.ly is. I was quickly turned to the concept of URL shortening, which is a technique that allows for web addresses to be shortening for Tweeting – or any other medium that has character limits (such as instant messaging).
Interestingly enough, another reason to shorten an URL is to disguise the original address for business purposes, although this is highly discouraged do to potential abusive practices, which may lead to being blacklisted.
Ow.ly is the primary service of Hootsuite, a social media management system, that most users prefer due to the convenience of using it with the Google Chrome plugin for easy Tweeting and scheduling tasks.
As someone who is relatively new to the technical side of Social Media from a marketing standpoint, I find this very fascinating.
There are several URL shortening services in addition to bit.ly and ow.ly (goo.gl, t.co, and tinyURL to name a few) all of which are used to shorten long links.
So, I’ll open the floor for answers to the question: Which URL shortening service do you prefer? Why? Share your thoughts, I’d love to read them!
By Rashid S. Umar