Brand Stories - Bitly
from to Domain Logo

Founded: 2008
Valuation: Plenty of dollars 
Original Domain:
Preferred Domain Name:

Bitly started its operations in early 2008 with a $1.5 million seed funding from BetaWorks, a New York City-based venture capital firm, which also provided more money during the second round of funding in 2010. When it was established, it was among a few URL shortening companies, which included, but it has since established itself as a major player in the sector. 

Bitly was successful in getting its target users in using a domain name with the unique .ly extension. But times change, too, so the company started redirecting its old brand to in 2011. Keep in mind, too, that the .ly extension is owned and controlled by Libya, which closed down a few domains accused of being anti-Muslim. But experts believe the country was only able to do so because the domain’s owners let their sites expire although the enforcement on rules regarding country codes was also its right (i.e., a country has the right to enforce the requirement that users actually maintain a local presence). No matter the case, the domain will continue its usage until May 2022. 

Of course, Bitly isn’t the only URL shortening company but with the acquisition, it now possesses a top-level domain necessary in complementing its brand. This is true in the case of Twitter’s, Google’s, and YouTube’s, among others. These brand names are domain names on their own while shorteners can continue in other extensions, such as and   


By changing from .by to rather than the domain hack, Bitly has established its authority that every successful technology company must possess. In the process, it has also removed the idea that it’s just a one-trick pony. 

The change also reduces, it not eliminates, the risk of operating under a domain name under the Libyan government’s regulation. The costs of upgrading were well worth the benefit of removing the risk of being under the unpredictable nature of country regulations over domain names. 

Just imagine your company being referenced to an article about an extension around which your company was formed and you get the idea.

Bitly optimizes the links so marketers can own their customer experience. Links are everywhere. Within every channel and every platform. Bitlinks are powerful enough to allow you to see clear across the internet: shorten, brand and optimize, track individual link analytics, collect insights on your performance and optimize your marketing efforts to better fit your audience needs.