Could a Billion TinyURLs Go 404?

TinyURL, a free and extremely popular five-year-old web service that shortens URLs and is a staple of tools like Twitter, has suffered some brief downtime lately. It's down as of this writing, as you can see from the screen shot below.

As a result, some are starting to imagine what might happen if such a single point of failure should go down for an extended period of time or, worse, shut down or be acquired. Twitter is far from the only company using the TinyURL API service.

The thought of an evaporating TinyURL - a wonderful tool that remind you is provided to us all for free - especially considering its rising popularity is all more than a little bit frightening, yet fascinating. Take a look at the chart below, which comes from Google Trends. It shows TinyURL clearly rising. No wonder it's having a hiccup!

Perhaps Google or someone else will buy TinyURL at some point. Still, that's not a good solution since all roads still lead to one. All of this points to a big weak spot in the web as more people and services rely on the terrific TinyURL service (and its alternatives).

Good fodder for a short week!

source: micropersuasion.com