Although Nambu, the parent company of the popular used URL shortener Tr.im says their recent announcement about closing down the site was not a public-relations stunt, one must wonder if this was the case.
Less then a week ago, Nambu said it was shutting Tr.im down due to the overhead of running the site. They further cited Twitters preference of Bit.ly as another cause for the shut down. Now out of the blue, after getting numerous suitors to buy them, and threatening to remove all links by December, the company puts out information stating that they have decided to keep tr.im alive.
Nambu states they “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.”
Many users have already switched to competing URL shortener services already. I have seen an dramatic spike in users using my own http://pie.im. More likely then not, Tr.im will remain the underdog in the URL shortening arena, unless it manages to make a deal with one of the bigger Twitter clients, like Tweetie, or Tweetdeck.
Here is more of what the company has said on their blog:
1. 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.
2. We too want to see tr.im live on, but feel we can only transition it to another party committed to ensuring the links are not highjacked in any way. A contract for sale to an unknown group or individual simply cannot guarantee that.
3. We have no interest in framing tr.im URLs, or adding interstitial advertising to redirects, and some have suggested we do, or others would do with tr.im should they acquire it. We will simply never do that out of respect for the fact that users created tr.im URLs based on this commitment. We do not see that as a viable revenue model as well, as it is not expected or welcomed by the individual visiting a shortened link.
4. This was not a public-relations stunt. At all.