To meet both of these goals, we're taking small steps to expand the link service currently available in Direct Messages to links shared through all Tweets. We're testing this link service now with a few Twitter employee accounts.
When this is rolled out more broadly to users this summer, all links shared on Twitter.com or third-party apps will be wrapped with a t.co URL. A really long link such as [amazon.com...] might be wrapped as [t.co...] for display on SMS, but it could be displayed to web or application users as amazon.com/Delivering- or as the whole URL or page title. Ultimately, we want to display links in a way that removes the obscurity of shortened link and lets you know where a link will take you.
In addition to a better user experience and increased safety, 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—the way we determine if a Tweet is relevant and interesting to users. We are also looking to provide services that make use of this data, an example would be analytics within our eventual commercial accounts service.
As a first step, developers who create applications on the Twitter platform can now begin to prepare for this service.
>>analytics within our eventual commercial accounts service
Interesting. I currently use the free bit.ly service that provides decent analytics data on links. I'd hate to see Twitter mess with that functionality in a way that favored some kind of internal paid solution.
I'd hate to see twitter fold, or worse get sold to a monopoly hungry company, because they couldn't monetize the site adequately. bit'ly is what twitter should have had in place a long time ago, perhaps they should buy that company and hire it's team.
To get a lot of free traffic and inflate the value of the site in current market is one thing while monetization adequately for future trend is another thing. Let Mark put more attention towards fixing all nooks in its all functionalities than regreting later.
I like bit.ly - they seem to have done really well so far. It's a shame to see Twitter stepping on their toes (just like Twitter did with iPhone app developers). It's still early days, but if Twitter keeps doing that they're going to end up alienating the developers that created them.