Twitter has squeezed the way we communicate, and now it is putting the squeeze on Web links users share on the microblogging service.
Twitter is testing a new service--called t.co--to wrap and abbreviate all links shared on the site in the same way other URL-shortening services such as Bit.ly do. The move is designed to increase security on the site, as well as offering analytics and related services for the company's Promoted Tweets platform, Twitter spokesperson Sean Garrett wrote in the post announcing the move Tuesday afternoon.
To illustrate how URLs would appear after testing is complete, Garrett said that a URL such as http://www.amazon.com/Delivering-Happiness-Profits-Passion-Purpose/dp/0446563048 might appear on Twitter wrapped as http://t.co/DRo0trj on mobile devices. However, users viewing the message on a computer will still see the entire URL.
"If you are already partial to a particular shortener when you tweet, you can continue to use it for link shortening and analytics as you normally would, and we'll wrap the shortened links you submit," Garrett wrote.
However, t.co is likely to put the squeeze on new competitors such as Bit.ly, which also offer analytics services and custom domains for corporations. The related services Twitter referred to might include content recommendation, suggesting content that users might want to consume.
The move isn't a total surprise. After a series of phishing attacks in February, Twitter launched a filtering service in March to detect malicious links designed to dupe users into revealing their login credentials and other attacks.