Twitter now owns the twee.tt domain, which ends with the “.tt” country domain for Trinidad and Tobago. Is Twitter planning on filling some more holes with its own URL shortener or is this merely a defensive move to maintain control over use of the word “Tweet”?
Twitter recently launched its own Blackberry app and acquired the Tweetie iphone app, putting it in more direct competition with some of its third-party app developers. Twitter currently uses bit.ly as its default URL shortener, but could easily switch to twee.tt. Shortening all links to twee.tts makes sense from a branding perspective. Twitter tried (and failed) to trademark “Tweet” and last summer warned developers from using the term, before backing off. Twitter uses the term on its own website, of course, and it is strongly associated with the company.
To be clear, just because it owns the Twee.tt URL doesn’t mean that Twitter is planning on doing anything with it. Twitter owns many domains which it is just sitting on, preventing others from acquiring, or reserving for future use. Twitter also owns twitter.tt and someone applied for twe.tt on March 27, 2010. None of the .tt domains are yet live.
Twitter could also use the domain for new products. For instance, if it finally launches advertising at its Chirp conference this week, it could assign specific URLs such as twee.tt or others to advertising messages with links in them.
[photo: flickr/d'arcy norman]