Returnam is a project originally born in a cloud architecture class in college, then used as a custom solution for our company, but it evolved into a real, public product. The original inspiration for Returnam was Bitly. We used Bitly in our company, but we soon reached the free limit cap. After analyzing the pricing options, we discovered the paid tiers did not offer the features we wanted for the price they asked, so we decided to make our own URL shortening service.
There are lots of software already built to make an URL shortener. Instead, we challenged ourselves and built our own with new, emerging technologies, with the features we needed the most. The project was born in a cloud computing class in college, where we experimented with most of the technologies now used in Returnam. After launching the service into production in our company, we decided to make it public and allow free links from anyone.
But then, we found more inspiration. In some casual browsing, we found JSONbase, it's a JSON database that needs no setup and no accounts, you just call the APIs and it simply works. We got a little idea and decided to make some cool, powerful APIs and allow everyone to use it. Like JSONbase, we want our service to be as simple and easy to use as possible.
Even when it all started as a fun experiment, our new found inspiration made us believe in a powerful service focused on developers and simplicity. Our goal is to continue building and improving our services, and we need a larger user-base for that. It's a win-win: we can build a better service while you get our free services. The price is that you're helping us create a powerful service, and hopefully, we are helping you grow and scale.
And last but not least... the name. It wasn't originally called Returnam. It started as ovn.is, which is UFOs in spanish. The .is domain had quite a few limitations we were not aware at the beginning, so we moved to a new name and domain: RTRN.io. We then expanded the name to something more... brandable, and Returnam was born. As some of you may know, finding 2 letter or 3 letter domains is very hard or really expensive, so we settled for some 4 letter domains which still allows for short URLs. We have multiple domains you can pick to host your domain, all running in the same infrastructure. You'll need a free account to access them (this is to prevent spam). Our free domains (may not be up to date): rtrn.am, rtrn.io, rtrn.link, rtrn.xyz.