The End of Third-Party URL Shortners? Twitter Launching it’s Own (t.co)

The URL shortener market, which is undeniably overcrowded, is about to get a lot smaller. Twitter recently announced that they will soon begin to pass all shared links through their own URL shortener.  This would apply to any link posted using the web interface or through third party Twitter applications like Tweetdeck.

Their goal is to eliminate the mystery of shortened links and prevent harmful spam, malware, and phishing attacks by rolling out an official URL shortening tool on Twitter called t.co, and in doing so, they may have just put an end to bit.ly and other major URL shorteners with millions of users.

The End of Third-Party URL Shortners Twitter Launching it's Own (t.co)

Twitter apparently feels that forcing using to leave twitter.com to shorten a link is absurd and therefore it sees a link shortener as an integrated part of the service the best option. So expect this to be an official end of URL shortening service like bit.ly, tinyURL.com and others. This is one big reason why Twitter is set to launch its link shortening service t.co to wrap all links shared on twitter. Three benefits of twitters coming up with its own link shortner :

1) Will help Twitter to crack down on spam, when ever a suspicious link is found it gives a warning to the user.

2) Helps Twitter with analytics.

3) It allows the users to know where the link leads to. Example : If I post an article from TechChunks, the shortened URL will still say http:techchunks.com.. even though it is shortened by t.co.

So the confusing part about t.co is that many users won’t really be aware of it. That’s because Twitter is including metadata with each tweet that allows clients to display the link’s original URL, even when the link is being routed through t.co first.

Another thing to note is that — while users will now be seeing expanded links show up in their tweets (which could be quite lengthy), each link will only count as twenty characters against the 140 character maximum. That’s because all t.co links will be exactly twenty characters long. According to Twitter, “goal is not to build a brand around t.co”. Instead, it’s to increase the transparency of links that are being shared on Twitter.

So where does that leave is.gd, tinyURL, bit.ly  and the literally hundreds of URL shorteners out there? Realistically…dead! t.co eliminates the need for 3rd party URL shorteners. Right now, they (Twitter) are testing and tweaking this service on a few employees accounts, but plan to roll the changes out application-wide this summer.

What are your thoughts on Twitter’s new link policy?  If you use your own personalized URL shortener how is this going to change how you use it?

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