The Google URL Shortener was launched way back in 2009 as a way to help people more easily share links and measure traffic online. Since then, many popular URL shortening services have emerged and the ways people find content on the Internet have also changed dramatically, from primarily desktop web pages to apps, mobile devices, home assistants, and more.
To refocus Google’s efforts, they have decided in turning down support for goo.gl last March 30, 2018, and replacing it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL).
Google ends URL Shortener support on March 30, transitions to Firebase Dynamic Links
FDLs are smart URLs that allow users to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app. These smart URLs were conceptualized to grow and improve the product going forward for Google. While most features of goo.gl will eventually end, all existing links will continue to redirect to the intended destination.
Starting April 13, 2018, anonymous users and users who have never created short links before will not be able to create new short links via the goo.gl console. If you are looking to create new short links, Google recommends to use Firebase Dynamic Links or check out other popular services like Bitly and Ow.ly as an alternative.
If you have existing goo.gl short links, you can continue to use all features of the goo.gl console for a period of one year, until March 30, 2019, when the console will be permanently discontinued. Users can manage all short links and their analytics through the goo.gl console during this period.
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After March 30, 2019, all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination. Existing short links will not be migrated to the Firebase console, however, the user will be able to export your link information from the goo.gl console.
URL Shortener has been a great tool created by Google that has been used since its launch in 2009. As they look towards the future, Google is excited about the possibilities of Firebase Dynamic Links, particularly when it comes to dynamic platform detection and links that survive the app installation process.