Twitter's URL shortening service, t.co, is being advertised as a way to avoid stumbling into phishing scam. Shorteners make it easier to microblog, but they also make it easier for grifters to blind their online marks.
"A link converted by Twitter's link service is checked against a list of potentially dangerous sites. When there's a match, users can be warned before they continue."
T.co, according to Twitter, will also enable metrics, to determine how many times a given link was clicked.
"Eventually, this information will become an important quality signal for our Resonance algorithm--the way we determine if a Tweet is relevant and interesting."
Users are free to continue to use their shortening services of choice but all links within Twitter will be wrapped in the t.co holster. Twitter says these links will be published wrapped on SMS but eventually online and on apps as either original links, as links with descriptive text or as page title, to further take away the uncertainty of clicking through them.
Not unrelated is the use of this system in contributing to the metrics of Twitter's Promoted Tweets platform and "provide an important quality signal for (their) Resonance algorithm," the algorithm they use to "determine if a Tweet is relevant and interesting to users."
Out of the box, the service will available to a few accounts, then to developers. This summer the company plans to roll it out service-wide. Given that all links in Twitter will be auto-shortened, it could have a tangible effect on start-ups that provide this service.