My URL shortener of choice, tr.im, is discontinuing its service. The API will continue to operate until further notice and all tr.im URLs will continue to work until the end of the year.
tr.im’s blog says that Nambu Network (tr.im’s parent company) had contacted several “people within the Twitter development world” and no one wanted to purchase the service. Also saying that “users will not pay for URL shortening,” because of this it just didn’t make sense for them to continue putting time and effort into the service.
Update 8/12/09: Yesterday tr.im announced on their blog that due to the overwhelming response from their discontinuance they have decided to re-open the service. This is good news but after announcing that they would close, why would anyone use them again?
Update 8/14/09: In hopes of keeping shortened links relevant, even after their service shuts down, 301Works is going to be opening sometime in the next week and will essentially host a database of shortened URLs and their longer counterparts. With this, even if the URL shortening service goes away users will still be able to find out what the shortened URLs are pointing to. TechCrunch‘s MG Siegler has a fantastic piece explaining how it will work.
Update 8/17/09: tr.im has announced that they are going to become “community owned.” It’s a little confusing and I’m still unsure how a “community” can own a domain name but if you are interested you can read tr.im’s blog post regarding the move.
Another interesting part of the blog post took a hit at the “journalists” who covered the shut down story, specifically mentioning TechCrunch as being part of the misinformation machine.
I wish outfits such as TechCrunch, which wrote five (5) articles last week regarding the tr.im shutdown (more than anyone else), could have taken 5 minutes to call us rather than simply repeat vertbatim what bit.ly/twitter feeds them, which they seemed to do regarding this story. Their misinformation machine created a lot of misunderstanding among users and other stakeholders not immersed in the technology, impeding progress. Hopefully that can change going forward.