Third-party URLs lose significance on Twitter

Twitter's new link-wrapping service, t.co, automatically shortens links added to tweets that are 19 characters or greater, according to internet marketing blog RavenTools.

While it works as an effective URL shortener to give brands more room to explain a link, the feature negates third-party branded URLs, which many companies deploy to help demonstrate the legitimacy of a link.

The news source reports that on both TweetDeck and Hootsuite - Twitter's social media tweeting applications - branded links were converted into t.co links, disconnecting any association with the full URL or company name. However, hovering over the link on TweetDeck allowed the entire URL to be shown.

Twitter maintains the device is effective not only for shortening links, but preventing malicious activity as well.

"Twitter uses the t.co domain as part of a service to protect users from harmful activity, to provide value for the developer ecosystem and as a quality signal for surfacing relevant, interesting Tweets," according to the t.co website.

RavenTools adds that by October 10, Twitter will wrap all URLs, regardless of length.