Twitter’s new service reveals what’s behind shortened links

Hardly a day passes without Twitter users being targeted by spam runs, phishing emails or malicious links that lead the users to malware-ridden websites.

When it comes to malicious links, the use of URL shortening services such as have greatly benefited the attackers. Since March, Twitter has been routing all submitted direct messages through a URL service called, where malicious links are intercepted and their propagation prevented.

Now, the time has come for this service to be available for all tweets – not just direct messages. Also, Twitter plans to provide automatic shortening of the links people want to share.

So, Twitter has announced that the service that will provide these things is currently being tested among employees, and will be available to the public this summer.

“All links shared on or third-party apps will be wrapped with a URL. A really long link such as might be wrapped as for display on SMS, but it could be displayed to web or application users as or as the whole URL or page title. Ultimately, we want to display links in a way that removes the obscurity of shortened link and lets you know where a link will take you,” says in the announcement. “If you are already partial to a particular shortener when you tweet, you can continue to use it for link shortening and analytics as you normally would, and we’ll wrap the shortened links you submit.”

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