We have relatives who won't trust the cloud, fearing that a company will either go out of business or end a service. After all, if a company as large as Yahoo! can shut down a service like Yahoo! Briefcase (admittedly, a laggard among cloud storage services anyway), what else can happen. This is a perfect example, with URL shortener tr.im announcing Sunday
it was shutting down service, effective immediately.
URL shorteners are in vogue now, what with the popularity of Twitter and its 140-character limit. Much as when a service such as Yahoo! Briefcase shuts down, what now when tr.im shuts down? How long will the shortened URLs continue to redirect?
Here's what they said in their blog post / announcement:
tr.im did well for what it was, but, alas, it was not enough. We simply cannot find a way to justify continuing to work on it, or pay its network costs, which are not inconsequential. tr.im pushes (as I write this) a lot of redirects and URL creations per day, and this required significant development investment and server expansion to accommodate.
tr.im has thousands and thousands of users, creating tens of thousands of URLs per day. But, we were a little surprised to learn, *no one* wanted to take it over. We quietly contacted a number of people within the Twitter development world, and nobody wanted it in exchange a token amount of money. No one perceived any value in it, or they wanted to operate a shortener under a differently branded domain name.
And, users will not pay for URL shortening, and why should they?
And, the data that tr.im generates — the hottest links that people are sharing right now — is all well and good, but everyone has this data. tr.im gets hit by countless bots every day farming this data to create and operate websites such as tweetmeme.com. So, *everyone* has this data, meaning it is basically worthless *by itself* to base a business on (as bit.ly and others are attempting to do) at least in our humble opinions.
And finally, Twitter has all but sapped us of any last energy to double-down and develop tr.im further. What is the point? With bit.ly the Twitter default, and with us having no inside connection to Twitter, tr.im will lose over the the long-run no matter how good it may or may not be at this moment, or in the future.
So, in summary, there is simply no point in continuing to operate or work on tr.im, and we are moving on to greener pastures. We appreciate all the support and kind words about tr.im we received over the past 12 months, but change is ultimately good, and bit.ly can more than accommodate your URL shortening needs.
It's obvious from the paragraph about bit.ly and Twitter that there's a measure of bitterness there; there's even been talk of Twitter acquiring bit.ly.
In terms of how long tr.im URLs will continue to work, all that's been said so far
[...] all tr.im links will continue to redirect, and will do so until at least December 31, 2009.
After that, it's unclear. Their home pages says, "Your tweets with tr.im URLs in them will not be affected" but whether or not that means even after Dec. 31, 2009 is up in the air.
Interestingly, several commenters have discussed wanting to buy the service at the blog post linked above. tr.im mentions a "token" amount of money, so perhaps someone will step in and buy the service. We'll see.