The goo.gl link is very common on the web and was first launched by Google in 2009. However, the company announced on Friday, March 30, 2018, that it’s winding down the URL Shortener beginning next month, with a complete deprecation by next year. Fortunately, existing links will continue to work.
The URL shortener service launched in 2009 for FeedBurner and the Google Toolbar. With neither of those services available, the same is now happening to goo.gl for both consumers and developers. The latter group is being directed to Firebase Dynamic Links with the announcement meant to “refocus” Google’s efforts.
many popular URL shortening services have emerged and the ways people find content on the Internet have also changed dramatically, from primarily desktop webpages to apps, mobile devices, home assistants, and more.
Starting on April 13, 2018, new and anonymous users will no longer be able to reach the goo.gl console to create short links. However, existing users will have access to all features like creation, management, and analytics until March 30, 2019, when the console will be discontinued.
Google notes “all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination” even after 2019, with users also able to export link information from the console.
Developers are encouraged to switch over to Firebase Dynamic Links that have the advantage of automatically detecting the user’s platform and send the user to either the web or your app.
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!