Monday, November 14, 2011 | By Twitter Engineering (@TwitterEng) [18:44 UTC]
Tweets often contain URLs or links to a variety of content on the web, including images, videos, news articles and blog posts. 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.
Several teams at Twitter need to access the linked content, typically in real-time, to improve Twitter products. For example: