In June, Twitter launched the t.co URL shortener and began reformatting links that were 20 characters or greater. Yesterday afternoon, Twitter announced that they will be expanding the program to reformat all links in the near future.
The official post on the developers’ blog said the following regarding the expansion of the t.co link shortener:
“Tens of millions of links are tweeted on Twitter each day. Wrapping these shared links helps Twitter protect users from malicious content while offering useful insights on engagement. All links submitted within tweets and direct messages, regardless of length, will eventually be wrapped with t.co.”
Every link that is converted by Twitter’s URL shortener is checked against a list of malware and phishing sites. When a Twitter user clicks a link to a site that is potentially hazardous, the user will be warned that the site may be malicious. Twitter’s t.co, unlike bit.ly and other popular link shorteners, displays the full domain name so users understand what they are clicking on. Although fewer characters will be displayed, Twitter’s new shortener will function normally with bit.ly and other existing URL shorteners.
To use the t.co shortener service, Twitter users simply post a link to Twitter or in a Direct Message. After the link is posted, it will be shortened to a t.co link, but will display as the site that the link directs the user to. Anyone with a t.co link will be able to view the site and content – the links are neither public nor private.
Twitter will be measuring the number of times that each link has been clicked and will eventually use that information as a quality signal to determine how relevant and interesting each tweet is.
At this time, Twitter’s link shortening service is only available for links posted to Twitter and is not available as a general link shortening service.
[Sources Include: Twitter & Mashable]