Bit.ly: Lifespan of Links in Social Media. Distribution of half-lifes over four different referrer types. Facebook, twitter and direct link (links shared via email, instant messengers etc.) half lifes follow a strikingly similar distribution.

Distribution of half-lifes over four different referrer types. via Bit.ly

There is a lot of noise on social networks these days with real friends’ updates getting lost in the chaotic streams of advertising and social media marketing. This is great for businesses but quite annoying as a friend.

Research at bit.ly analyzed a 1000 popular links to find: ‘In general, half life of a bitly link is about 3 hours, unless you publish your links on youtube, where you can expect about 7 hours worth of attention. Many links last a lot less than 2 hours; other more sticky links last longer than 11 hours over all the referrers. This leads us to believe that the lifespan of your link is connected more to what content it points to than on where you post it: on the social web it’s all about what you share, not where you share it!’.

So popular links live around 3 hours with an initial burst of attention within the first 30-90 minutes which slowly fades away while other links lose interest within minutes!