Google has decided to terminate its URL shortening service, called goo.gl or Google URL Shortener. However, developers shouldn’t worry at all because the search engine giant has already confirmed that there is going to be a replacement for it.
On Friday, software engineer Michael Hermanto announced via the Google Developers blog that Google is shutting down goo.gl in the coming weeks. He noted that the move has to do with the company’s decision to refocus its efforts as it transitions to another service that will fill the void.
The replacement is called Firebase Dynamic Links or simply FDL. According to Hermanto, FDLs are smart URLs that enable users to direct other users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app. However, Android Police pointed out that FDLs shouldn’t technically be referred to as the replacement of goo.gl short links. For one thing, FDL will only be beneficial to developers, so non-developers won’t have use for the new service.
While Google recommends users try Firebase Dynamic Links, the firm also encourages them to check out other popular URL shortening services like Bitly and Ow.ly, which are actually more direct substitutes of goo.gl.
For consumers who have used goo.gl in creating short links in the past, they also don’t need to worry about anything because Google said that “all existing links will continue to redirect to the intended destination.”
Consumers should take note of two dates that are important in the transition of Google from goo.gl to FDL. The first one is April 13, 2018 — this is the day when new users will no longer be capable of creating short links using the goo.gl service. The second one is March 30, 2019 — the date when existing users will no longer be allowed to use all features of goo.gl.
“URL Shortener has been a great tool that we're proud to have built. As we look towards the future, we're excited about the possibilities of Firebase Dynamic Links, particularly when it comes to dynamic platform detection and links that survive the app installation process,” Hermanto stated.
Google launched goo.gl back in 2009 with the goal of providing users with a means to easily share links and measure traffic online.