Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Twitter Launches Its Own URL-Shortening Service
A URL-shortening service has been launched by Twitter, so tweeted links can be modified without the need for a third party. The new service is among moves Twitter is making to "take back" control of its brand, an analyst said. With its audience remaining on one site, Twitter would be able to justify high prices for advertising in tweets.
At long last, the world's most famous microblogging service Relevant Products/Services has launched a URL shortener of its own. It's the latest in a string of moves to make Twitter easier to use.
Twitter announced its automatic link-shortening service on Tuesday. It works much the same way that competing URL shorteners like bit.ly do, but with the added convenience of link shortening right from the Tweet box on Twitter.com.
Users can paste a link of any length into the Tweet box. After they have composed a message and hit the Tweet button, Twitter will automatically shorten the link so it only takes up 19 characters. Of course, Twitter still allows other third-party link-shortening services.
"Sharing links on Twitter.com is now simple and instant. Plus, since we show a shortened version of the original link, people will know which site the link points to," Twitter said. "This service also increases security Relevant Products/Services. If users click links that are reported as malicious, we direct them to a page that warns them."
No Longer Clunky
Twitter's launch of its own URL shortener is one in a series of service upgrades designed to let the microblogging service "take back" control of its brand from third-party providers, according to Jake Wengroff, global Relevant Products/Services director of social media strategy at Frost & Sullivan.
Indeed, the URL-shortening service comes on the heels of Twitter's acquisition of engagement platform TweetDeck, and the launch of hosted photo sharing.
"Before these acquisitions and service rollouts, using Twitter was clunky and inefficient. It required opening a URL shortener, like bit.ly, in an additional browser window or accessing an engagement platform to do what most people want to do on Twitter -- share Relevant Products/Services content, namely interesting web sites and photos/videos," Wengroff said.
"With these upgrades, Twitter is essentially trying to ensure that users consider using the main Twitter.com web site alone, or a Twitter client on their smartphones, for accessing the service -- without the need to use another browser page or service."
Twitter's Next Move
So what's next for Twitter? Some are still talking about an acquisition. But Twitter may have more work to do to flesh out its service to draw the highest possible bid. Services that drive advertising revenue would sweeten the pot.
Wengroff speculates that Twitter could move to add a hosted document- or file-upload service, available directly from Twitter.com or smartphone Relevant Products/Services clients, to share even more. TweetDeck and other engagement platforms currently include this feature.
"The strategy is to clearly unify Twitter's audience. This is all in efforts to move closer to monetizing the service with its new Promoted Products," Wengroff said. "The more the audience is in one place at one time, the more likely that audience will be larger and more engaged, justifying Twitter's high advertising prices."