Half-life of links measured over social media platforms

When companies post links on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook, they only have a certain amount of "air time" until users begin to lose interest and click rates decline.

Link shortening service Bit.ly recently performed a study to measure a link's "half-life" to determine how long common links have until they begin to lose popularity. The company looked at 1,000 popular Bit.ly links and analyzed the results, according to the its blog.

The results showed that YouTube links lasted the longest at 7.4 hours. Facebook ranked second at 3.2 hours, while Twitter lagged behind at 2.8 hours. This proves, according to the study, that business owners can expect an average of 24 minutes of extra link attention if they post on Facebook rather than Twitter, and links on YouTube remain interesting for a much longer period of time.

Search Engine Land points out that a loophole lies within second-chance tweets on Twitter, which refers to links posted a few hours after the original. The website landed 50 percent more traffic from Twitter posts the second time around, thus extending the links' half-life far beyond the original time frame.