Link shorteners are some of the most often used tools in the Twitter ecosystem. While Twitter itself has been offering it’s own t.co URL shortener for a while, it was never integrated into the Twitter.com web interface. That’s changing today. Twitter now automatically shortens links for URLs that take up more than 13 characters and will also ensure that links don’t point to sites that are reported to be malicious.
This feature is starting to roll out to “a small percentage of users” today, so don’t worry if you don’t see it yet. According to Twitter, it will eventually be available for everyone.
It’s a big day for buttons today. Twitter just introduced its new Follow button and thanks to an unfortunate leak, we also know that Google is planning to launch it’s +1 button for third-party sites tomorrow. Twitter’s Follow button has long been overdue. It allows site owners to give their visitors a chance to follow their accounts with just a few click. Google’s +1 button is part of the company’s efforts to add more social signals to its search results. Whenever somebody +1s a story on a third-party site, this information will appear in their friends’ search results if that page appears (and can also push sites up on their friends’ search results pages).
While Twitter has been continually updating its desktop apps and desktop browser experience, its mobile site has been sorely lacking - both with regards to design and functionality. Today, however, Twitter announced that it is launching a new HTML5-based version of its mobile site for smartphones and tablets. This new design will roll out slowly. Today, only a select number of users on iPhones, iPod Touches and Android smartphones will see the new site, but Twitter plans to roll this new version out to all users over the next few weeks.
The Wall Street Journal today reported on a rumor that Twitter is “in advanced talks to buy TweetDeck,” the popular Twitter client for the desktop and browser. Neither Twitter nor TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth have responded to these rumors.
As much as I would prefer to see a healthy ecosystem of Twitter apps, I can’t help but think that it makes sense for Twitter to buy TweetDeck, especially given what we know about Twitter’s priorities these days.
TweetDeck, the popular Adobe AIR-based Twitter client, started offering a web-based version of its service in Google’s Chrome Web Store late last year. There, it quickly became one of the most popular apps in the store. Today, TweetDeck is launching a limited beta of the web-based version of TweetDeck that will also be available to users of other browsers. Specifically, TweetDeck Web will work with Chrome, Firefox 3.6 and 4, as well as Safari. Support for IE9 and Opera is coming soon.
When Twitter launched the latest version of its iPhone app a few days ago, most users were more than happy to get auto-completion for names and hashtags, among many other improvements. The fact that Twitter now prominently featured the top trending topics in its app - including the promoted trends that Twitter gets paid for - was, according to many users, a major negative of this version and was seen as a sneaky way to push ads to users without delivering any additional value. Some, including the intrepid Apple-watcher John Gruber, even went as far as reverting back to an older backup of their iPhone to get the old version back.
Twitter today launched an update to its iOS apps that brings lots of welcome new features (automatic shortening of links, autocomplete for usernames and easier photo uploads) but also puts far too much emphasis on trending topics in the iPhone app. Every time you scroll to the top of your stream on the iPhone, Twitter will now show you a trending topic at the top.
Somehow I completely missed the fact that those new blue "shared by" links on Google News results that appeared on my main search results pages a few days were new. Given the pace of the search giant's development cycle, I have to admit that I'm sometimes actually rather confused about what's new and what's been around for a while on Google.
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.