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Twitter wants to remove the ambiguity from shortened URLs

June 9th, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Those of you who frequent Twitter are, in all likelihood, intimately familiar with URL shortening services. With only 140 characters available to inflict your wisdom upon all your fake internet friends, you have to conserve space where you can. URL shortening services, as great as they are, do create a bit of a security issue; most people don’t know how to tell where a shortened URL leads (e.g. http://bit.ly/agi3wH). The people over at Twitter have plans to launch their very own URL-smashing service that it hopes will, “remove the obscurity of [the] shortened link and let you know where a link will take you.” Twitter says the new service, which will use the URL string http://t.co, will provide “a better user experience and increased safety.” They also note that, “routing links through this service will eventually contribute to the metrics behind our Promoted Tweets platform and provide an important quality signal for our Resonance algorithm.” t.co will be rolled out slowly — first to employees then to developers — and, if all goes according to plan, be used by twitter.com and all third-party apps. There is some valuable data to be mined from all those links!

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