Who owns the URLs you submit to Twitter?  You?  Or the Bird?  I vote we should own our own URLs without having interference from the t.co Twitter link shortener unless we explicitly want it, and here’s why.  We use Bit.ly to shorten all Boles Blogs Network links we send to Twitter and Facebook using our proprietary Boles.co URL.  Yesterday, in the sidebar of our network blogs, the t.co link began to appear even though we were submitting the boles.co shortened URL to Twitter.

Here’s the June 8, 2011 announcement from Twitter that this was going to happen:

Since early March, we have been routing links within Direct Messages through our link service to detect, intercept, and prevent the spread of malware, phishing, and other dangers. Any link shared in a Direct Message has been wrapped with a twt.tl URL. Links reported to us as malicious are blacklisted, and we present users with a page that warns them of potentially malicious content if they click blacklisted links. We want users to have this benefit on all tweets.

Additionally, as we mentioned at our Chirp developer conference in April, if you want to share a link through Twitter, there currently isn’t a way to automatically shorten it and we want to fix this. It should be easy for people to share shortened links from the Tweet box on Twitter.com.

To meet both of these goals, we’re taking small steps to expand the link service currently available in Direct Messages to links shared through all Tweets. We’re testing this link service now with a few Twitter employee accounts.

That’s an “Ugh!” moment that I do not think we can escape, but here’s where it gets strange.  This is our Bit.ly page from yesterday that shows the original, active, preserved Boles.co links:

This is our Facebook wall that shows the Bit.ly-crafted Boles.co links are active:

When visited our official Twitter page, the Boles.co links are there!

As of right now, the official Twitter client for Mac shows our Boles.co links from yesterday and today and so on:

Yet, here’s an updated shot of our WordPress.com sidebar this morning with all the Boles.co URLs replaced with that hateful t.co shortened domain:

I understand why Twitter wants to own, and brand, our URLs on their service, but I find their behavior unseemly and random, and I resent having the sidebars of my blogs infected with the t.co domain when I purposefully setup the Boles.co domain to proprietarily shorten all our blog links.



    1. That’s what so strange, Gordon — if they want to own the URL, why not push the t.co changes to Twitter.com and the Twitter app? Why only filter and change the URLs when content is pulled through the Twitter API on our blogs?

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