GUIDE 2023

Bitly API Review: Pricing and Alternatives

The Bitly API is a tool that allows developers to programmatically interact with the Bitly URL shortening and link management platform. 

Just like Rebrandly, Bitly recognized service in the realm of URL shortening and link management. Both platforms offer a comprehensive suite of services aimed at satisfying the same essential needs—but with a few key differentiators.

Bitly and Rebrandly provide APIs that allow developers to integrate link management features into their applications. These APIs empower users with dynamic link generation, link customization, and robust analytics. If your focus leans more toward straightforward link shortening, Bitly may suit your needs. However, if your needs extend to advanced branded link management, Rebrandly’s API offers additional capabilities, like the ability to alter destination URLs post-creation, that may better suit your requirements – all with seamless integration requirements.

In this article, we will provide an overview of Bitly and its API, and explain how they compare to other alternatives in the market.

Best Bitly Alternative

Finding the best alternative to Bitly comes down to a careful comparison of features relative to pricing. Here, we explore the top contender that provides exceptional functionality and value for the investment.


Rebrandly’s API excels as an alternative to the Bitly API by offering a suite of features that cater to both advanced and fundamental link management needs. 

What sets Rebrandly apart is its versatility: from powering complex SMS campaigns for major industries like telecommunications and airlines to ensuring compliance with data security standards such as CCPA, SOC2, and GDPR. 

While the API is robust enough to meet the rigorous demands of large organizations, its user-friendly design and straightforward implementation make it equally accessible for businesses of all sizes looking to strengthen their brand through smart link management.

Bitly Alternative

Main Features:

  • Branded Short Domains: Customize your links with brand names, ensuring every URL carries your unique signature.
  • Comprehensive Link Analytics: Gauge the performance of your shared links, understand audience interaction, and tweak your outreach strategies based on real-time data.
  • Developer-friendly API: Integrate link management and shortening functionalities directly into your existing applications or workflows. This flexible API allows for bespoke integration, catering to a range of business needs.
  • Multi-Domain Hosting: Secure and manage custom domains for your branded links, all under one unified platform.
  • Collaboration Tools: Work seamlessly with your team, share access, and manage user roles, ensuring everyone’s on the same page.

Key Features of Bitly

Below, we outline Bitly features and discuss how they compare with Rebrandly.

URL Shortening

Bitly’s URL shortening feature allows users to transform long URLs into concise, more manageable links by sending a POST request to the Bitly API. This is a standard feature also offered by Rebrandly, which provides an intuitive interface that some users might find offers a better experience.

The process involves sending a POST request to the API with the long URL as a parameter. The API then responds with a shortened link, which can be shared or embedded in applications. It not only saves space but also enhances the overall user experience by making links more visually appealing and easy to manage. 

Custom Links

Bitly’s API enables custom link creation by allowing users to specify keywords or aliases in a POST request. Similarly, Rebrandly’s API also offers the capability to create custom, branded links. What sets Rebrandly apart, however, is the added flexibility and range of customization options available programmatically, making it easier for developers to align URLs closely with brand identity.

Link Analytics

The API offers the ability to collect metrics on link performance. Users can gain insights into metrics like click-through rates, geographic locations, and referral sources by sending a GET request to the Bitly API. 

Rebrandly offers similar analytical capabilities with a dashboard that some users find more visually appealing and easier to interpret. 

Rebrandly Pros

These analytics offer valuable information for assessing the success of marketing campaigns, understanding audience engagement, and making informed decisions to optimize link-sharing strategies.

Link Preview and Information

The Bitly API supports link preview functionality, enabling developers to generate previews for shortened links. This feature involves sending a GET request to the API with the short link as a parameter, which returns information about the linked webpage, including its title, description, and thumbnail image.

While useful, this type of functionality has become fairly standard across most link management tools.

Link Management

Bitly provides a feature for managing your arsenal of shortened links. By interacting with the Bitly API, you can pull information on existing links, modify their properties, and even remove them if need be. 

In a similar vein, Rebrandly offers a robust set of link management tools. What sets Rebrandly apart is its intuitive user interface, which many find to be a game-changer for effortlessly juggling multiple links simultaneously.

Integration Possibilities

The API can be integrated into a variety of applications and platforms, from social media management to email marketing services. Developers can tap into a range of features like URL shortening, custom short links, and link analytics, making the API versatile for different user needs.

Similarly, Rebrandly provides its own breadth of integration options. Where Rebrandly distinguishes itself is in the ease of the implementation process. Users often report that integrating Rebrandly into their existing tech stack is exceptionally straightforward, even for those who are not tech-savvy. This ease of use allows for quicker adaptation and a smoother transition into new or existing workflows, reducing the time spent on implementation and troubleshooting.

Better Marketing

Data Import and Export

Bitly’s API features the ability to import and export data, allowing users to integrate existing URLs and campaigns into the Bitly system while also exporting valuable metrics for analysis. 

In contrast, Rebrandly shines in this area by offering a frictionless data transfer experience. Users highlight the platform’s ability to quickly and effortlessly sync data across various tools, making it easier to centralize and analyze link data.

Docs for APIs

Bitly provides exhaustive documentation, making it easier for users to get up to speed with API integration. The guides cover everything from endpoints to authentication, aiming to equip developers with all the knowledge they need for successful integration. Meanwhile, Rebrandly is lauded for its documentation’s user-friendliness. It goes beyond the technical jargon to offer real-world examples and step-by-step walkthroughs, making it accessible not just to seasoned developers but also to those who might be new to API integration.

How to Integrate Link Management Tools

Integrating link management tools like Bitly and Rebrandly into your workflow can significantly streamline your branding and tracking efforts. Here’s a quick guide on how to leverage their respective APIs.

How to Leverage Bitly API

To get started with Bitly’s API, you’ll first need to sign up for a Bitly account and generate an API access token from your Bitly dashboard. This generic access token is essential for authenticating your requests. The API allows for link shortening, link preview, and detailed analytics, among other features. Use simple HTTP methods like GET, POST, and DELETE to interact with the API. Bitly provides extensive documentation to help you integrate its features into your application seamlessly.

How to Leverage Rebrandly API

Rebrandly offers a similarly robust API but makes the integration process even more straightforward, often cited for its user-friendly documentation

User Friendly Documentation

After registering for a Rebrandly account, you’ll generate an API key which you’ll use to authorize your application. The Rebrandly API enables you to create branded links, obtain analytics, and even alter destination URLs post-creation—a feature not commonly found in other tools. You can employ HTTP methods like GET, POST, and PATCH for various functionalities, further affirming Rebrandly as a versatile and compelling alternative for advanced link management.

Payment Plans 

Bitly offers a variety of pricing options to suit a range of needs, from individuals to large enterprises. Importantly, API access varies across different plans, which we will highlight below.

Free plan

The Free plan serves as an entry point for users new to link management and URL shortener tools. Priced at $0 per month, this package enables you to get acquainted with the core features of Bitly’s services. It allows for:

  • 2 QR Codes/month
  • 10 links/month
  • 1 Link-in-bio page

Additional Features:

  • 5 custom back-halves
  • PNG & JPEG QR Code download formats
  • UTM Builder

API Access: Limited to 1,000 API requests per month.

Note that Rebrandly’s free plan starts with 25 branded links per month and the luxury of having your own custom domain name, not to mention essential link analytics and a built-in UTM builder. QR codes are also included, rounding out a feature-rich free offering that sets the stage for your branding journey.

So, if you are looking for more flexibility with no costs, Rebrandly may be a better alternative. 


Moving up a tier, the Core plan costs $8 per month, billed annually at $96. It is designed for users who are looking for a bit more functionality, offering everything included in the Free plan plus:

  • 5 QR Codes/month
  • 100 links/month

Additional Features:

  • QR Code customizations
  • 30 days of click & scan data
  • Link & QR Code redirects

API Access: Limited to 5,000 API requests per month.


Priced at $29 per month with an annual charge of $348, the GROWTH plan caters to growing businesses or individuals who need more advanced features and resources. The package includes:

  • 10 QR Codes/month
  • 500 links/month

Additional Features:

  • Complimentary custom domain
  • Additional QR Code download formats
  • 4 months of click & scan data
  • Bulk link shortening

API Access: Limited to 25,000 API requests per month.


For users who require a comprehensive set of features, the PREMIUM plan is priced at $199 per month, with an annual charge of $2,388. This plan is suitable for businesses or professionals with high-level needs and includes:

  • 200 QR Codes/month
  • 3,000 links/month

Additional Features:

  • 1 year of click & scan data
  • Custom campaign-level tracking
  • City-level & device type click & scan data
  • Mobile deep linking

API Access: Limited to 50,000 API requests per month.


Bitly offers a top-tier enterprise solution tailored for large businesses and organizations with substantial needs. This plan is custom-priced and you can “Get a Quote” for your specific requirements. It builds on the PREMIUM plan by offering:

  • Multiple user seats
  • Group permissions
  • At scale link generation
  • 99.9% SLA uptime
  • Account manager support

Additional Features:

  • Custom pricing
  • 10k+ QR Codes/month
  • 10k+ links/month
  • 1 Link-in-bio page per group

API Access: Up to 150,000+ API requests per month, customizable based on your needs.

If API limitations are a concern for your business, Rebrandly offers scalable API solutions that easily integrate with your existing tech stack, even if you’re not tech-savvy. This makes Rebrandly not only a viable alternative but also a powerful competitor, especially for enterprises and organizations with more demanding link management needs.


The following are some frequently asked questions about the Bitly API and some of its alternatives:

Does Bitly have an API?

Yes, Bitly offers an API that enables developers to seamlessly integrate Bitly’s custom domain link shortening and management features into their applications and services. The API allows for the streamlined utilization of Bitly’s services with personalized custom domains for link shortening and tracking.

While Bitly is excellent for general-purpose link shortening and offers robust analytics, if you’re seeking a solution tailored for enterprise needs, such as hosting multiple domains or compliance with regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and SOC2, then Rebrandly could be a better fit for you.

What is the use of Bitly API?

The Bitly API integrates Bitly’s link shortening, tracking, and analytics capabilities into external applications. It allows developers to automate link management, retrieve click metrics, and create shortened links programmatically.

Is Bitly API free?

Bitly offers both free and paid plans for their API usage. The availability of features and the amount of usage permitted can vary depending on the plan you choose. It’s recommended to visit the Bitly website or contact their support for the most up-to-date information on API pricing and usage details.

What is the limitation of Bitly API?

Bitly API limitations can include rate limits on API requests, usage quotas for short links and data retrieval, varying feature availability based on subscription tiers, and potential restrictions on click data and URL blacklisting. Refer to Bitly’s official documentation or support resources for the most up-to-date details.

How do link shorteners work?

Link shorteners like Rebrandly and Bitly take a long URL and convert it into a shorter, more manageable URL. These short URLs redirect to the original URL, making it easier to share long and cumbersome links. The shortened URLs also allow for easier tracking of click-through rates, geographical data, and other analytics.

Can I bulk-shorten URLs?

Yes, APIs support bulk URL shortening, allowing you to shorten multiple URLs in a single API request. This feature is particularly useful for businesses or developers who need to manage a large number of links efficiently.