File Under: Software & Tools

Tr.im URL Shortening Service Finds New Open Source Lease on Life

Tr.im, the popular URL-shortening service for Twitter and other social networks has found a new lease on life. After announcing it would shut down by the end of the year, the team behind Tr.im has decided to continue on as a community-supported open source project.

Rather than closing its doors, Tr.im is throwing them wide; releasing all its code under the MIT open source license and offering developers unfettered, real-time access to all the link-map data associated with Tr.im URLs.

While not entirely solving URL-shortening issues like link rot, Tr.im appears poised to at least become a bit like the Mozilla of short URLs.

Tr.im founder Eric Woodward says “Tr.im will being accepting donations to help meet its operating expenses,” but goes on to say that he will “cover operational costs personally,” if there is any shortfall between the donations and costs of running an open source Tr.im.

Woodward also says that the Tr.im code will be ready for outside users by September 15.

But perhaps most interesting for mashup creators or those interested in harvesting real-time link data, all of Tr.im’s click data and statistics — the very thing that made Tr.im popular with Twitter users — will be made available anonymously through the new service provider Gnip.

Woodward says this will involve “a variety of time-based snapshots of aggregated destination URLs, the number of Tr.im URLs created for any given destination URL, and aggregate click data.”

While we still think URL-shortening services have some serious potential problems, at least a community-operated, open-source option like the new Tr.im avoids a few of them — particularly the problems that come locking all your link data up with a closed, third-party service that may or may not be around when you need it.

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