How Will Bit.ly Work with Twitter’s Link Wrapping?

Symantec Says T.co Improves Security

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Besides hinting at new features and talking about user stats, Twitter also made a couple announcements this week. One is that all Twitter apps use OAuth. The other is that it will start tracking every t.co link users click. This is Twitter’s own default URL-shortener. 

Twitter sent an email to users saying, "In the coming weeks, we will be expanding the roll-out of our link wrapping service t.co, which wraps links in Tweets with a new, simplified link… When this happens, all links shared on Twitter.com or third-party apps will be wrapped with a t.co URL."

"When you click on these links from Twitter.com or a Twitter application, Twitter will log that click. We hope to use this data to provide better and more relevant content to you over time."

This may be a good thing for users from a security standpoint. Symantec says that short URL spam and phishing attacks are rising sharply. "With the announcement that Twitter will be rolling-out its own short URL service, many malicious attacks through this route will be thwarted," says Amanda Grady, Senior Analyst at Symantec. "Through Twitter’s added analysis, they will be able to check if the short URL is directing users towards a site with malware and alert them in advance. This should reduce phishing attacks on Twitter accounts and prevent criminals from directing users to infected websites.

 What about other URL-shortening services? Well, Bit.ly Twitter’s old favorite, has posted an update on the matter. "Following this week’s OAuth and apps announcements, some of our users have inquired about how bit.ly will work with Twitter’s new link-wrapping service," says Bit.ly’s Matt LeMay. "Link-wrapping will enable Twitter to collect traffic data and block spam, but it will not interfere with bit.ly analytics, bit.ly Pro custom domains, or bit.ly Enterprise usage — you will be able to shorten, share and track links with bit.ly exactly as you do now."

Bit.ly custom domain

"Many of our partners are already using their bit.ly Pro short links with t.co, since all links shared via the Twitter Tweet Button have been wrapped in t.co since the button launched last month," he adds. "Link-wrapping will happen automatically and invisibly in the background."

Bit.ly says its been working closely with Twitter and other social media platforms to continue improvements across the web.

How Will Bit.ly Work with Twitter’s Link Wrapping?
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  • http://s2ndesign.blogspot.com S2N Design

    It’s comforting that Twitter will be able to alert users to previous attacks from linked websites.

  • Alex

    I am thinking bit.ly’s user numbers are going to drop quite a bit when this happens..

  • http://randomwalker.info randomwalker

    I don’t think the real issue here is whether or not it will be technically feasible for bit.ly to interoperate with t.co. They are both just redirection services and a link can be redirected an essentially unlimited number of times.

    The real worry is that users will stop using bit.ly since there is no need to, and bit.ly’s post does nothing to address that concern. I think t.co leaves bit.ly’s viability as a business in serious doubt.

  • http://www.gartenfreunde-kersbach.de Lu

    >> We hope to use this data to provide better and more relevant content to you over time.”
    Don’t forget tracking and logging is a privacy issue.

  • http://www.fixpcfreeze.com Mathews

    If I shorten a link with Bit.ly and it is further shortened to t.co Won’t this cause unwanted delays for two link shorteners getting resolved? I am totally confused. It is a matter of concern for me because I use bit.ly often. Now does it mean that I can put my long url into twitter and twitter will shorten it on its own? and that means there will be more space added to the existing 140 ?

  • http://backgroundimagemaker.com Bryan

    I hope this is a good thing, as I use Twitter often, and find it a very enjoyable and useful resource for business and information. I currently use bit.ly, but I probably won’t in the future, unless they come up with some more useful innovations.
    Technology evolves, and even though it doesn’t seem fair, web enterprises come and go. Bubbles burst! Who knows the life cycle of Twitter anyway?

  • Matt Roberts

    What was not really covered here is that Twitter will be gathering information using this shortening service. No doubt they will be collecting who clicked what and when. This will enable them to build a profile of any users interests for advertising purposes.

    Whereas I’m not immediately worried it’s worth knowing and keeping an eye on. I wouldn’t want them selling this information on to third parties for example. They also have my email address, after all.

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    Tracking clicks? Won’t this make Twitter as ‘evil’ as people think Google is?

    How long will it be before Twitter becomes the target of evil data collection claims?

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