Tr.im gets cut down

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Tr.im gets cut down

URL shortening service shut down.

Nambu, the company behind the URL shortener tr.im has decided to shut down the service, closing all of the products and services within that brand.

According to an official blog post, the company "simply cannot find a way to justify continuing to work on it" and has been unable to find anyone interested in buying the service.

According to the post: "We quietly contacted a number of people within the Twitter development world, and nobody wanted it in exchange for 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."

URL shorteners have become extremely popular in recent months thanks largely to micro-blogging service Twitter because updates are limited to 140 characters, making linking to long web addresses impossible without creating a shorter link.

However, because it obfuscates the source address, these services have also become popular with online fraudsters who use it as a way of luring users to unsafe or inappropriate web sites.

The move could see tens of thousands of existing tr.im links no longer working, however rival bit.ly has reportedly said it would help by offering to host tr.im's URL mappings.

In April, media company Betaworks – a bit.ly investor – kick started a project called 301works which aims to create and maintain an archive of URL mappings, however interest from rival companies was apparently limited.

As well as providing a useful tool for web users, URL shorteners can also prove to be useful data analysis tools, by being able to track popular suggestions and links, however according to tr.im "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."

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