Google announced plans on Friday to shut down the company's URL shortening service Goo.gl starting April 13, 2018.
Google won't change or disable existing links; all existing links will continue to redirect to the link target.
Google launched goo.gl back in 2009 when URL shortening services such as TinyURL or Bit.ly were all the rage thanks to the rise of Twitter, messaging applications and services that limited the characters that users could type and to improve the sharing of links.
Google entered the niche late and we asked back in 2010 whether anyone needed the Google URL Shortener as it did not really offer anything that popular services did not offer already.
Google launched g.co in 2011, another URL shortening service that it uses for internal links exclusively. In other words; only Google could use g.co to shorten URLs.
Google's URL shortening service worked similarly to others; users could paste any URL into a form on the Google URL Shortener website to turn it into a shorter URL that was easier to share or publish.
While this was beneficial for the purpose, shortening services introduced issues of their own. Spammers started to use the services to obfuscate the target URL and pass spam detection tools and services at the same time.
Google's solution required a Google account and included public click analytics. All you had to do was to append .info to any goo.gl link to display click statistics for any link.
Google revealed why it made the decision to shut down the Google URL Shortener service:
To refocus our efforts, we're turning down support for goo.gl over the coming weeks and replacing it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). FDLs are smart URLs that allow you to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app.
Google wants developers to use the Firebase console and API instead. Information about the Firebase Console is available on this web page.
Now You: are you affected by the shutdown?
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