Twitter to Launch Its Own URL Shortener, Bit.ly Left Hanging

Ryan Whitwam

Twitter seems bent on developing official alternatives to all the third party software and services individuals have developed. After releasing a Blackberry Twitter client, and buying an iPhone client, Twitter is announcing they intend to create their own URL shortening service . Evan Williams himself made the announcement at Chirp. Until now, Bit.ly has been tightly integrated with the social networking service, that partnership seems uncertain now.

This isn't coming completely out of left field, though. Twitter investor Fred Wilson strongly suggested in a blog post that URL shortening services would do well to stop relying on Twitter. The speculation is that the recently acquired twee.tt domain would be used for this purpose. Twitter already has  short URL service called twt.tl that is used as an anti-spam system for direct messages.

If Twitter does indeed go through with this, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of Bit.ly. Third-party twitter clients could still continue to use the service, though its roll may be decreased. The Bit.ly Pro service could help them along as well. What do you think about Twitter's course of action? Do you feel sorry for developers, or should they have known this could happen?

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