URL shortening service tr.im is back from the dead

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today @ PC World blog at PCWorld.com.

Popular URL-shortening service tr.im announced Tuesday that it's restored its service and has reopened its Web site. Nambu, tr.im’s parent company, had announced last weekend that it was closing the service. But a message on the tr.im blog now says the service is back in business, although its future remains murky:

“We have restored tr.im, and re-opened its website. We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the popular response, and the countless public and private appeals I have received to keep tr.im alive... Nambu will keep tr.im operating going forward, indefinitely, while we continue to consider our options in regards to tr.im's future.”

Tr.im’s resurrection means that shortened links in thousands of Twitter posts, e-mails, and text messages will continue to work into next year. The site’s URL-redirection service was slated to last until the end of 2009, and its future was unclear beyond that.

Nambu’s sudden change of heart is surprising. Earlier the company had stated that a tr.im shutdown was necessary because the service was a financial drain. Network costs are expensive, after all, and Nambu couldn’t find a way to monetize tr.im.

Tuesday’s tr.im blog post also took a few shots at Twitter, which Nambu says is making it difficult for tr.im to stay in business:

“Twitter has stacked the URL shortening business opportunity overwhelmingly in bit.ly's favour, as twitter.com currently operates. This is not whining, as some have suggested, but a simple reality. If we post a link to this blog article by its title Twitter switches our tr.im URL to a bit.ly URL. bit.ly has a monopoly position that cannot be challenged with reasonable investment or innovation unless Twitter offers choice. This is a basic reality of challenging monopolies. bit.ly has deep personal connections and agreements with Twitter that we simply cannot compete with. And it is our humble opinion that this type of favoritism will become an issue for all Twitter developers.”

Nambu says the tr.im shutdown was not a public relations stunt.

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