As of today, Twitter will shorten all links that are 20 characters or more whether or not you want it to. Those links will be converted to Twitter’s new custom URL shortener t.co and will be exactly 20 characters long (21 for https links.)

While this may be helpful to some users, many prefer to use custom URL shorteners like bit.ly which provide companies with analytics data on click through. T.co doesn’t offer such services, but a bit.ly URL coverted to a t.co URL will still allow bit.ly analytics to work.

While this automatic shortening will help in crafting your 140 character or less tweet, there should be an opt out for people who want to use their own URL shortener of choice. Let’s hope Twitter gives users a choice soon.

Edit: Updated to reflect that bit.ly analytics will still work. Thanks to reader Derek for the heads up!

[Source: Twitter dev blog, Image credit: Rosaura Ochoa]