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(Radio-)Active Links

By Oct 01, 2011

A recent study by link-shortening platform bit.ly measured the “half-life” of shared links — that is, the rate at which the clicks they get fall off, similar to measuring decay in radioactive substances.

The findings: If you want a longer-lasting link, get it on video. Shared links from YouTube have a mean half life of 7.4 hours, compared to 2.8 hours for links shared on Twitter. Facebook shared links fall in the middle (half life of 3.2 hours), as do links shared over direct sources such as email or instant messaging (3.4 hours).

Of course, these are aggregate results; the most important factor in link life is what is shared. “The lifespan of your link is more connected to what content it points to than where you post it,” says the bit.ly blog. “On the social web, it's all about what you share, not where you share it.”

Got a Web tip to share? Contact Brian Quinton at brian.quinton@penton.com