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SpiderDuck is a service at Twitter that fetches all URLs shared in Tweets in real-time, parses the downloaded content to extract metadata of interest and makes that metadata available for other Twitter services to consume within seconds.
Several teams at Twitter need to access the linked content, typically in real-time, to improve Twitter products. For example:
Search to index resolved URLs and improve relevance Clients to display certain types of media, such as photos, next to the Tweet Tweet Button to count how many times each URL has been shared on Twitter Trust & Safety to aid in detecting malware and spam Analytics to surface a variety of aggregated statistics about links shared on Twitter