Social networking and micro-blogging site Twitter has expanded its services and is now allowing Tweeters to directly upload media in tweets, as well as shorten links from the standard 140 character limit automatically. Tweeters can also search for photos and videos in a new search engine.
The new services will be introduced slowly, so as not to squash third party providers that offer the same services that Twitter will now be providing. Users can still use their favorite third-party link shortening services, too.
The automatic link shortening tool has now become available, but only to a small percentage of users for the time being. Twitter's new link shortening feature now has been extended beyond its employees to the start of a general rollout. “It will eventually be available for everyone. You should see it soon,” Twitter said in an announcement. “You can now paste a link of any length into the Tweet box on Twitter.com and it will be shortened to 19 characters. You no longer have to worry about fitting a long link into the 140 character limit.”
As far as the new search engine goes, Tweeters can type in a search then view related photos and videos, right there on the results page. Twitter says, “It’s never been easier to get a sense of what’s happening right now, wherever your curiosity takes you.”
The official Twitter blog also explained its new photo upload tool, which will be rolled out over the next several weeks. Official photo uploading will be hosted by Photobucket, but Twitter said a Photobucket account was not needed for direct uploading of photos through Twitter.