Twitter announced a new feature allowing users to tweet easier and safer. The official t.co Twitter shortener will now automatically shorten URLs right from the Tweet box when using the web version of Twitter. The feature shortens links to 19 characters, and shows users a preview of the destination link.
When a user’s link will be shortened, a notification will show next to the Tweet button:
Once the Tweet is live, the link will show the preview of the destination for all users:
Users will be notified that their Tweets will be shortened upon entering the first 13 characters of a URL.
This new automatic link shortener will help fight against malicious activity because the preview feature warns users of the destination URL. All URLs shortened by Twitter are checked against a list of potentially dangerous sites, so users can be warned when a t.co shortened link is potentially unsafe.
Previously, the only way to use the t.co service was to use the official Tweet button on a site. The t.co shortening will still only be used as a shortening service for Twitter, it will not be opened up for general URL shortening. Other supported shortening services will still work with the new auto-shortening feature.
Currently, this change isn’t live for all accounts, but look for this feature in your account soon.