Twitter launched its own link shortening service in August of this year. At first only links that were too long to fit into the 140 character space were shortened. But as of October 2011, all links are shortened.
There are many link shortening services, so what’s the big deal?
The big deal is this – the service offers the following:
- It protects users by checking against a list of potentially dangerous sites that spread malware, engage in phishing attacks, and other harmful activity, and warns them before they continue.
- The service also measures information like how many times a link has been clicked.
- A promise by Twitter that the information measured “will eventually become an important quality signal for our resonance algorithm, which determines how relevant and interesting each Tweet is when compared to similar Tweets.”
What you need to know:
- All links published through Twitter are safe to click, including those in Direct Messages.
- You can still use other link shortening services, so you don’t have to stop tracking your metrics with another service like bit.ly.
- The Twitter t.co service only works for links published on Twitter and cannot be used independently for general link shortening.
- Twitter’s shortened links will now show up separately in your analytics as a referral source.
- You can not only track the effectiveness of your Twitter activity, but now your individual Tweets!
The tracking feature alone will boost Twitter as an engagement marketing tool for brands. And we will hear a sigh of relief from Tweeters everywhere when they learn about the safe browsing.
Follow Me and send me one of your shortened links! 🙂
Ok, help me understand where these tracking metrics are found?
You can find the t.co referral info in Google analytics. The new version has more detailed traffic stats.