Google’s URL Shortening Tool
Recently, in its official blog post, Google announced that it will be closing down its URL shortening service. The company’s URL shortening service, namely, goo.gl was launched in 2009 and gained much popularity.
However, with the change in present internet usage scenario, the company is all set to shut it down and come up with more modern and contemporary tools and features to make its platform smoother for the users.
The company made it clear that by 13th, April 2018 no anonymous user will get to create links using the console. While the already existing users still have one year to use it, they too won’t get to avail it after that.
Over the years, the internet has brought various different services for shortening the URL as well as the needs of the users have also seen dramatic changes. “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,” wrote Michael Hermanto, the Firebase Software Engineer on the company’s official developer’s blog.
Notably, Google is not closing down its entire service. Instead, it is replacing it with more modern and contemporary service called as Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). So, in the coming weeks, instead of simply making the links shorter, another powerful console will replace goo.gl that will simply redirect all the existing links to their intended destinations.
As Hermanto writes, “FDLs are smart URLs that allow you to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app. We’re excited to grow and improve the product going forward. While most features of goo.gl will eventually sunset, all existing links will continue to redirect to the intended destination.”
The console will not take any more new or anonymous users. The new users are recommended to use the latest feature from the company, namely Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). They are also recommended to check other popular alternatives such as Bitly or Ow.ly and so on.
But at the same time older and existing users will get to use the feature until March 30, 2019, after which the console will be completely closed down. If you are worried about the hundreds of links that you have already shortened using the console, they won’t be harmed after March 30, 2019! They won’t cease to work, instead, they will simply be migrated to all new Firebase console. Also, you will have the possibility to export all your link related information from the goo.gl console.
The blog also offered important information to the developers. If you are a developer, you need to note that the projects that you have created with access to URL Shortener APIs will only be able to create short links if they will be created before May 30, 2018. The blog further recommends the developer to start using FDL APIs.
Hermanto furthers that the company felt really proud of their shortening tool but it is time to move forward with better technologies. “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. We hope you are too!”