Have you ever asked yourself, “How long will the link I just posted stay alive until my friends and followers stop caring?” Well bit.ly may have an answer for you.
According to a recent bit.ly study, the average half-life of these links hovers around 3 hours.
Predictably, bit.ly found that the half-life, or time it takes a link to obtain half of its overall clicks, varied greatly by platform, situation, and information. When it came to sharing stories for instance, bit.ly found that the half-life mark could be reached in as little as 5 minutes, or as long as 11 hours.
While researching the difference between platforms, bit.ly found that both Facebook and Twitter were approximately level, with Facebook at a 3.2 hour half-life and Twitter at 2.8. From a direct traffic standpoint (instant messages & e-mails), the average half-life held steady at around 3.4 hours.
The clear leader from their research however, was YouTube with an average half-life of 7.4 hours. According to this data, links shared on YouTube hold the spotlight far longer than those shared on Facebook, Twitter, or via direct traffic.
Overall, bit.ly’s research indicates that a 3 hour half-life is a fair assumption for most shared links. As mentioned, the platform the link is shared on will play a significant role in its life-span, but may not be the most influential factor.
Bit.ly concludes that the true life of most links depends more on its content than where it is being posted. In other words, the quality of the link is far more important than the medium it is on!