Twitter Just Stopped Resolving t.co URLs Even in the Web Client

At least for me, all links are shown as t.co. Even in clients like mine that used to resolve them, based on the information provided by the API, it’s t.co now (the actual URL is not provided).
This probably means something has gone wrong temporarily, but it also shows that shortening all inserted URLs was not a great idea. I’ve always thought it’s a bad decision for a number of reasons:

  • it adds yet another redirect, accumulating overhead
  • it’s not user-friendly – when something breaks, or when the countless twitter clients don’t bother resolving the URLs, the users see t.co all over, and they don’t know which site they are going to open (not to mention spam opportunities)
  • its main purpose is to provide analytics, but analytics are nowhere to be seen, despite being announced a number of times in the past two years.
  • there’s a much better way to handle that – the way facebook approached it, with l.php?url=actualUrl. That way all links clicked on the web client will get tracked. And for links provided via the API…clients should be forced to record link clicks. If they don’t – the account gets disabled. Too complicated? Well, currently it’s also possible not to go to the t.co link in the client – you just get the actual URL and show that to the user.

One thing t.co is good about – it saves some characters. You no longer need 3rd party shorteners. But people use them anyway, so the benefits diminishes.

2 comments

    • David on March 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    • Reply

    It seems to be fixed now 🙂

  1. I think everything typed was veey logical. However, what about this?

    what if you were to creatte a awesome headline? I ain’t saying your content is not
    good, but what if you added a title that makes people want more?
    I mean Thoughts aboout the web

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