Bitly Affiliate Test

Bitly recently conducted a series of link affiliation tests on our platform. Those tests are now over and we’re evaluating the results of those tests to determine the best plan of action going forward. We will share more details regarding Bitly and link affiliation if things change.  In the meantime, here's what you need to know regarding the tests we conducted.


Why did Bitly test link affiliation?

Bitly provides a free service to millions of users and from time to time, we test new ways to support our products’ use cases in the market. This test was related only to a small portion of free user activity where some clicks on links were affiliated. Results of this test are being used to inform future business and product decisions.


What are affiliate links?

In affiliate marketing programs, it's a special URL that contains the ID or username of the affiliate. This URL is used by the advertiser to track all traffic the affiliate sends to the advertiser's site as a part of the affiliate program and to account for payments from the advertiser.


What happened when someone clicked on an affiliated link during the test?

When the link was clicked, Bitly did not change the link destination nor did it override the record of the original long URL. Anyone clicking on the affiliated Bitly link always ended-up at the intended link destination.


Which clicks on links were affiliated during this test?

During this test, only a small percentage of clicks on links created by free Bitly users to online retailers were affiliated. Existing affiliate links created by users were not overwritten.


Are any links created before or during the test still affiliated?

No. Existing affiliate links created by users were not overwritten, so those links are still affiliated per the user.


I am a Bitly Brand Tools customer, were clicks on my links being affiliated by Bitly during this test?

No. This test was only on a small percentage of links created by free Bitly users, not on any links created by Bitly Brand Tools customers.


What is Bitly Brand Tools?

Bitly Brand Tools is our product for professional marketers. To learn more about Bitly Brand Tools, click here.


I am a VigLink merchant or affiliate partner, what do I need to know about this test?

Clicks on links created by free users to your domain may have been affiliated during this test. If you wish to learn more, please contact VigLink support at

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