For short links in WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, or other messaging apps, no referrer can be tracked on Short.io or Google Analytics. When clicking a short URL in messengers, an external browser is displayed, and no further information is passed.
Such a source is categorized as 'direct.' If you share links via messengers, you should perform additional steps to get comprehensive data. This way, access can be measured through campaign tracking.
What is Campaign Tracking
If you still are not familiar with tracking codes, they're pretty easy to use. We'll leverage Short.io's campaign tracking as an example of how it's possible to pull out the WhatsApp source to the statistics of short links.
Here's a short URL that leads to an article from your blog: shortcm.xyz/retargeting
Now, if you share the link on Twitter/Facebook and someone clicks it, Short.io automatically classifies the clicks under the Top Social Referrers section and a source of Twitter or Facebook.
The goal of UTM-codes is to tell Short.io precisely from where the traffic is coming. Additional fields like campaign name, term, and content are also available for specifying to receive even much more extensive data.
Using Short.io's Campaign URL Builder, you can generate UTM tags for a long URL:
A short link for this UTM-tagged long URL stays unchangeable: shortcm.xyz/retargeting. When someone clicks a short link, Short.io identifies which traffic is coming to the URL and classifies the data according to the UTM tags.
The detailed statistics for the UTM-tagged link can be tracked via clickstream, where filters are available. This provides a chance to include the UTM source and medium in the table of content. Short.io will assign traffic with a medium of 'post' and a source of 'whatsapp.'
Actually, you can customize UTM tags however you like, adding various values based on the leveraged data.
Such a method is helpful as it assists in reaching comprehensive statistics that fully match your needs. Despite additional steps for configuration, detailed data is worth spending energy.
Short.io provides UTM tagging for free, so it costs you nothing to get WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber tracking off the ground.
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