Twitter announced yesterday in a blog post the company is testing a new service — dubbed t.co — to wrap and abbreviate all links shared on the site in the same way bit.ly and the droves of other URL-shortening services already do- only Twitter is aiming to shorten links on mobile devices primarily.
The move is designed to increase security on the site, as well as offer analytics and related services for the company’s Promoted Tweets platform. As the company ramps up its own internal advertising services, analytics will play a huge role. Consolidating, organizing and keeping a majority of the millions of links being shared on Twitter each day internal, is likely vital to their future plans.
It’s interesting that Twitter is primarily wanting to keep its t.co shortened URLs limited to mobile devices. For instance, 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. There’s other reasons Twitter is targeting mobile devices in the beginning, though its reasoning is yet to be known so far.
Twitter doesn’t come right out and discourage the use of other link-shortening services, saying in its blog post; “if you’re 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.” Twitter will undoubtedly have to work with the myriad of shortening services that already abound on its network, but adding its own layer of reporting on top of all others could prove interesting, if it works as planned.
One thing’s for sure, Twitter has big plans for its “Promoted Tweets” platform and other future monetization efforts, and something tells me link shortening will play a pivotal role in the scheme. We’re definitely keeping our eyes on this one.