In the twitter age there is no shortage of URL shortening services, look around you will find tons of URL shorteners. One of the reason for so many URL shorteners floating around is the low barriers of entry. But what happens when one of these URL shorteners will disappear one day, it will take all your links you created using the service. tr.im is a URL shortening service, I never used it but many folks used it and now it is shutting down its service. tr.im developer says â€œWe 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.â€
tr.im wonâ€™t allow URL shortening effective from now, but the links will work until December 2009, after that all those millions of links will be useless. There is not much money in these URL shortener services, so they may shutdown anytime with out bothering about the user links. Bit.ly the default URL shortener on twitter offered to make those URLs function but tr.im is not interested. tr.im wants to sell itself but there are no buyers. â€œNo business we approached wanted to purchase tr.im for even a minor amount.â€ reads a message posted on tr.im homepage.
This is not a fault of tr.im is it, services will come and go there is no guarantee that they will be around forever, they tried it and it didnâ€™t work and they are shutting down. Today tr.im and tomorrow may be some other.
Short URLs also pose problems as they are used to send spam and malware on twitter and other services, now a days with out using a previewer to see where the links is leading it is not safe to open them unless the person who sent you the link is trustworthy.
Sadly there is no easy way to get your data out of tr.im and move it somewhere else, even if you do you need to replace all those links with new urls, which is cumbersome and wonâ€™t work always. One solution to avoid losing your links is to create your own URL shortening service, which is not hard there are several free scripts available.
As per the tr.im story goes hopefully some one will buy it or they will agree to put those URL redirects somewhere else otherwise all those links are dead. tr.im is not so popular so many of us may not care but still this concerns to users who used it from quite some time.