Last month, bit.ly achieved an important milestone with some help from twitter. They became the most popular URL shortening service on the web pushing long-time market leader tinyurl.com to the second spot.
To maintain their dominance, bit.ly is slowly expanding into new territory and they now offer free file hosting services as well in association with yfrog (a TinyPic like service for image and video hosting).
To get started, just go to the bit.ly website, click “Link to a File” and you’ll be able to upload images, video clips (including Flash animations) and PDF documents to yfrog.com directly from bit.ly. You’ll get a shortened URL for that file that you may share in email messages, IM and other places on the web.
You may ask how is this any different from uploading a file directly to yfrog? Well, there are couple of advantages. For instance, you can upload files to yfrog only if you have signed in with Twitter but that requirement can be bypassed easily if you upload files using bit.ly.
The other advantage is stats – when you upload files via bit.ly, you get access to detailed stats about that file’s usage which will be missing in case you use yfrog or TinyPic directly.
TinyPic is owned by PhotoBucket while yfrog is part of ImageShack.