Yesterday we reported that Bit.ly and Viglink were adding their own affiliate cookies to links that are shortened through the URL shortener Bit.ly. And understandably, people are pretty upset about it, not just for the cookie dropping on unsuspecting users, but also because of the high likelihood that affiliate commissions could be hijacked when anyone uses a Bit.ly link.
First, this IS retroactive, so old affiliate links are being affected, it isn’t simply newly created links this is happening to.
If you are a merchant, you can contact your account rep at Viglink to opt out. “Then, ‘in theory’, none of the links will go through the affiliate channel,” said one affiliate, who prefers to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, and who has done exactly this.
However, if you do this, you will still need to keep an eye on it, because Viglink can make “mistakes” and forget from time to time, according to the affiliate.
“We theoretically opted out,” says the affiliate, “but found a bit.ly link our social team used redirecting through the affiliate channel.”
So bottom line, you can opt out by contacting your rep, but you will need to be super vigilant that Viglink doesn’t somehow forget or lose the opt-out and you discover commissions have been hijacked by Bit.ly.
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