Twitter wraps all links to

Ane Howard · October 11, 2011 · Short URL:

Starting this week, URL wrapper automatically wraps all links submitted to Twitter

In an effort to guard its community from rogue websites, Twitter is reformating all its links to its URL shortener.

The giant social-microblogging service announced the move on Monday. "This also includes extracted URLs that have no specified protocols, such as host name ending with gTLD (i.e., host name having two sub-domains followed by ccTLD (i.e., and host name consisting of 1 sub-domain and ccTLD, which is followed by / (i.e., "This change will now extract URLs that have no specified protocols," wrote Arnaud Meunier, on Twitter's developer blog

Great Twitter! But what does this means for you and me?

These measures are some of the latest taken by Twitter to make tweeting safer. With 200 million active Twitter accounts, the company took this measure to protect users against malware and suspicious urls. 

“Tens of millions of links are tweeted on Twitter each day,” the company said, on its blog. "Wrapping these shared links helps Twitter protect users from malicious content while offering useful insights on engagement. All links submitted within tweets and direct messages, regardless of length, will eventually be wrapped with”

The URLs converted into will be checked against dangerous sites. If there's a match, Twitter will alter users.

You may have noticed that since this past June, Twitter started shortening all URLs automatically, leaving the domain names intact. Since this summer, Tweeps - another word for Twitter users - haven't had to worry about shortening links using an external service.

Since then, one could simply paste a link of any length into the Tweet box on, and Twitter takes care of shortening it to 19 characters.  The company stated in its blog post, that Tweeps could continue to use third-party links shortening service as analytics without any problems. 

Just this past January, it was reported by Technopope that a malware was spreading to thousands of accounts using, a Google shortening services. Unsuspecting users were redirected to a rogue website that asks the user to install a fake anti-virus solution called Security Shield.  Twitter did not release the number of accounts that had been victimized by the malicious URL. 

To note, the link service at is only used on links posted on Twitter and is not available to the general public as a shortening service.

Twitter was not available for comment. 

Image: source


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Ane Howard

I am a social journalist covering technology innovations and the founder of, an international newswire.

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