Word came this week that tr.im a free URL shortening service, is shutting down. When I saw that I started writing a blog post in my head about such a shutdown of such a service. But by the time I got to my computer to write it, the word had changed, that tr.im was to resume service. You can read more about it on their Web site and blog. If you do read their messages, they say that people won’t pay for such a service, and now that they are not the preferred short URL service built into Twitter, they did not see a point in continuing.
My response to this is yes and no. Do people want to pay for something they get for free? It depends. People pay for water and music all the time now, and the reason is anything from the perceived value-add to simply controlling your own destiny. There are some people that won’t pay for anything, and with the plethora of free short URL services out there, why pay one when you can get the same for free elsewhere?
Short URLs live outside of Twitter and social media services. I frequently get emails with shortened URLs. These links live on longer and are more useful due to being carried in a different medium. As the life of a tweet or status update, though it technically can be forever, is short and links are more useful when in an email or posted on a Web site or in an email.
I see this as an evolving service. Initially, services like Dunkirk Systems, LLC’s own psURL, a private, customizable short URL service, will have a small market for either individuals or more than likely larger companies to manage content and information. Going forward, short URL functionality will be built into most open-source and commercial publishing software and content management services. The demand will remain, but the way it is executed will change.
So what do you think? Will there continue to be demand for short URLs and services converting them?Technology • (0) Comments • Permalink
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