The URL shorteners have become commonplace on the Web as a way to make web addresses, which would otherwise be very long, can be easily shared. This was especially important on Twitter when the web link characters used to count. The tech giant Google offered its own URL shortener called goo.gl in 2009, but the search giant has just announced that it will close the service and be replaced.
In a post on the Google Developers blog, Firebase software engineer Michael Hermanto explained that the way we find content on the Internet has changed dramatically since 2009. Sitting on a PC when clicking on the links with a mouse is being replaced by touch screens using mobile devices, home assistants and applications. A simple URL shortener no longer works in 2018.
As of April 13 this year, no new short link can be created using goo.gl. Existing users, that is, anyone who has already created short goo.gl links will be able to continue using all the features of the service until March 30, 2019. After that, the service will be suspended, but all short links existing ones will continue to work.
The tech giant Google’s replacement for goo.gl is Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). They are a much more advanced form of deep links, which allow a link to be automatically adjusted depending on who the user is, where it is linked to and what hardware it is using. The same FDL link will work on desktop computers, mobile devices, even from within an application. The user experience will be transparent, while the correct destination is chosen at the time of the click, touch or voice command.
For developers, there are FDL APIs to take advantage of that incorporate the automatic detection of a user’s platform and direct them to the appropriate destination. If you are a developer using goo.gl, only projects that access the URL shortener API goo.gl will continue to have access to the service beyond May 30, 2018. However, the same cutoff as of 30 March 2019.
Although the tech giant Google is encouraging the use of FDL as a replacement for goo.gl, it is not the only alternative. If you want to continue using a simple URL shortener, then the tech giant Google recommends switching to Bitly or Ow.ly as an alternative.
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