Short Web address site tr.im to stay in business

Aug 12, 2009 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Web address shortening service tr.im is back in business - just days after announcing it would trim itself out of operation.

Eric Woodward, co-founder of The Nambu Network, said his company's tr.im service has reopened in the wake of "countless public and private appeals."

"Nambu will keep tr.im operating going forward, indefinitely, while we continue to consider our options in regards to tr.im's future," he wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

Woodward had announced in a Sunday blog post that tr.im would be shutting down after about a year in operation. Because of its growing popularity, the service needed "significant development investment and server expansion to accommodate," he wrote then.

No one would take over the site from Nambu Network, even for a "token amount of money," he added.

Though the site was shut down, Woodward said existing tr.im links would work through the end of the year. At that point, Nambu was to decide whether to extend that deadline.

Tr.im is currently back up and running.

Services like tr.im convert super-long Web addresses into a handful of characters. That helps prevent those addresses from breaking into multiple lines when used in e-mails, news stories and other places. It also helps users stay within the 140-character message limits at the social-networking site Twitter.

But Twitter recently opted to use a rival service, bit.ly, as the default shrinker when users post long Web addresses. Twitter previously used TinyURL, a pioneer in the link-clipping space. In switching this spring, Alex Payne, one of Twitter's lead engineers, said Twitter had found TinyURL unreliable.

In an interview Monday, Woodward said his company didn't feel it was worth continuing with tr.im since Twitter has made the switch. Before, he said, users who didn't like TinyURL would seek out alternatives like his. Woodward said that opportunity has now disappeared.

"You just can't stop them," Woodward said. "Unless opens up the option of using more than one shortener, there's just no way to compete against them."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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