Below are some frequently asked questions about t.co, Twitter’s link-shortening service.
How does link shortening work?
Links shared on Twitter.com will automatically be shortened to a http://t.co link. Please note: t.co links are neither private nor public; anyone with the link will be able to navigate to the content.
Why does Twitter have its own link shortener?
- Shortened links allow you to share long URLs in a Tweet while maintaining the maximum number of characters for your message.
- Our link service measures information such as how many times a link has been clicked, which is an important quality signal in determining how relevant and interesting each Tweet is when compared to similar Tweets.
- Having a link shortener protects 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. Users are warned with the error message below when clicking on potentially harmful URLs.
Can I opt out of link shortening when I post a Tweet?
Because of the reasons listed above, Twitter will shorten URLs you post on Twitter.com. You cannot opt out of link shortening.
Can I still use a URL shortener (like bit.ly) to shorten links?
You can continue to use a URL shortener to shorten links, and tracking metrics (like those from bit.ly) will continue to work as they did previously. The link service at http://t.co is only used on links posted on Twitter.com and is not available as a general shortening service on other apps or sites.