Twitter has unveiled their URL fetcher, which they named SpiderDuck.
What does it do?
SpiderDuck is a service at Twitter that fetches all URLs shared in Tweets in real-time, parses the downloaded content to extract metadata of interest and makes that metadata available for other Twitter services to consume within seconds.
Twitter says this helps them improve the following Twitter services:
- Search to index resolved URLs and improve relevance
- Clients to display certain types of media, such as photos, next to the Tweet
- Tweet Button to count how many times each URL has been shared on Twitter
- Trust & Safety to aid in detecting malware and spam
- Analytics to surface a variety of aggregated statistics about links shared on Twitter
A WebmasterWorld thread has some webmasters sharing the useragents and such found in their log files.
Anyway, for more details see the Twitter post.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.