Over the coming weeks, Twitter will be rolling out two major updates to its service. These updates will impact how third-party applications (such as desktop applications, websites and smart phone apps) access and interact with your data, and how URLs are displayed in the necessarily restrictive 140-character space allotted for your tweets. Below the jump, details on these major updates.
The first update makes some changes to how users authorize third-party Twitter applications. Before this update, users usually authorized each application through a separate process, and were required to log-in to these applications from a page away from Twitter. After August 31st when the new authorization update came into effect, applications will begin to use OAuth to access Twitter accounts.
OAuth enables Twitter applications to access users’ accounts without directly asking for, or storing, their passwords. Twitter notes that desktop and mobile apps might ask for a password once after this update is in full effect, but will not need it again. This update is intended to make applications more secure and centralized. Users can view a list of all authorized apps under the “Connections” setting in their Twitter account.
The second update is intended to make URLs more manageable for users wanting to share links. While there are already services like bit.ly out there that shorten URLs, Twitter is expanding its own URL wrapping service, t.co. Links shortened with t.co will still show the domain and part of the URL so that users know what they are clicking on, and users will be quickly routed through Twitter’s malware checker before being processed on to the link itself. This update will be slowly rolled out for some users over the next few weeks, and should be available to everyone by the end of the year.
What do you think of Twitter’s new updates?