About Twitter's Link Service (http://t.co)
Twitter’s link service at http://t.co is used to better protect users from malicious sites that engage in spreading malware, phishing attacks, and other harmful activity. 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:
Our link service will also be used to measure information like how many times a link has been 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.
How the Link Service Works
All links included in Direct Message notification emails currently pass through our link service and are converted to a http://t.co link. As part of the rollout process, links shared on Twitter by some Twitter employees (and a few other accounts) will begin displaying the site that a link directs to, instead of a t.co URL. Our recent blog post has more information on what we’re building.
You can still use a URL shortener (like bit.ly) to shorten links.
If you’re wanting to shorten links to share with others, please see this help page on using URL Shorteners. You can continue to use a URL shortener to shorten links, and any tracking metrics (like those from bit.ly) will continue working as before.
The link service at http://t.co is only used on links posted on Twitter and is not available as a general shortening service.
Learn more about how URLs are flagged as potentially harmful.
If the URL of a site you manage has been flagged, please see this help page about flagged URLs for more information.
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