We have already seen Twitter shorten links in Direct messages. Now, it is expanding the same technology into status updates. This is one feature users have missed and complained about for too long and finally, Twitter is rolling it out as a feature for regular use.
This service has existed for direct messages which were shortened with twt.tl to prevent phishing and other forms of scams. This was achieved by blacklisting links from user generated reports and feedback. Now, the newly bought t.co domain will serve the feature to status updates.
The inclusion of this feature was hinted at, at the Chirp developer conference this year. This link shortening aims at improving the generated short links by keeping them meaningful and short at the same time. This would also help Twitter analyze the popularity of a link and roll out features based on it.
Not only this, the feature once integrated into the Twitter API will allow developers integrate newer tools and features into their applications and this will enhance the Twitter ecosystem as a whole. The developers will also have a more flexible choice on generating the shortened links.
The service is available for testing to selected Twitter employees only though; Twitter aims at making it available to the public soon. Once this feature is made available, I wonder what bit.ly will do to keep its charm.