Google is turning down support for its Google URL Shortener, which launched in 2009. A URL shortening service, it allowed people to shorten and share links easily and also helped to measure online traffic.
According to an announcement on the Google Developers blog page, from April 13 onwards, anonymous users and users who have never previously used the URL shortener to create shorter URLs will not be able to create new short URLs via the goo.gl console. The goo.gl console allows a user to cut and paste the URL there and receive a shorter url. A regular user can see the previous URLs posted on the console along with the number of clicks each URL received.
For the existing goo.gl links, all the features will continue to work for another year up until March 30, 2019, when the console will finally be discontinued, revealed the announcement. The announcement also mentions that “after March 30, 2019, all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination. Your existing short links will not be migrated to the Firebase console, however, you will be able to export your link information from the goo.gl console.”
Google is shutting down the goo.gl console since there are multiple other services for URL shortening that have emerged – a few that the announcement mentions as alternatives are Bitly and Ow.ly. Google also recommends its own Firebase Dynamic Links, which are smart URLS, free forever and for any scale, that according to Google, allow people to “send existing and potential users to any location within iOS or Android apps.”
Over the years, Google has shut down other services like Google Reader and Picasa. However, the primary reason to shut down goo.gl is that there are many alternative and popular services for url shortening. The company also believes that the way people find content has changed, and so it is pushing the Firebase Dynamic Links, especially when it comes to “dynamic platform detection and links that survive the app installation process”. Google certainly has high hopes for Firebase Dynamic Links and will be hoping that users like it too.