URL shortening service tr.im wasn’t turned into a newt, but it did very suddenly make a self-enacted disappearance yesterday. Citing inability to come up with a revenue model (and inability to compete with the virtual monopoly granted bit.ly as Twitter’s default shortener), owners Nambu announced they were immediately shutting the service down.
But they “got better.”
Just one day later they resumed service, explaining that an overwhelming response from users made them reconsider. No other conditions have changed: still no revenue model (that they can live with) and still discriminated against by Twitter.
Such a drastic move by a fairly popular service (especially occurring on the same day that FriendFeed was absorbed by Facebook) should give those whose business model is heavily dependent upon social media pause. If that’s you, you should…
- seek to diversify your social media “portfolio.” Don’t build all your business or promotional channels through one (or even a few) SM outlets. Very few have yet found viable revenue models; nearly any of them could disappear at any time.
- keep backups of any data (such as analytics) or post archives generated on any SM sites over which you have no direct control.
In the meantime, it will continue to be interesting to watch how (or if) the plethora of free services that grew up around the social media boom of the past few years are able to create acceptable and profitable revenue models.