URL shortening service Tr.im announced today that it is to shut down - and sounded a warning to other services.
It confirmed that all existing links will continue to redirect until at least December 31, 2009, but that it would not be issuing new URLs.
Operator Nambu blamed the demise of tr.im on the adoption of rival service bit.ly as Twitter's default shortener.
A posting on tr.im's blog said, "We simply cannot find a way to justify continuing to work on it, or pay its network costs, which are not inconsequential. There is simply no point in continuing to operate or work on tr.im, and we are moving on to greener pastures."
The blog went on to question the entire business model of URL shortening: "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. 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."
Bit.ly responded by saying: "Back in April, we reached out to several of the leading URL shortening services to suggest archiving the mappings of the URLs. Tr.im along with other services said no thank you. Tr.im potentially shutting down makes the need for something like this even more pressing."
Bit.ly went on to hint that it may be interested in buying the tr.im name: "While we love the bit.ly brand, we recognize it could be a character shorter. We will follow up on this shortly."