Previously, I wrote about a great Google feature – the goo.gl URL shortener. Well, I have some bad news… this tool is going away.
Visiting the goo.gl site now shows this message:
The message links to a Google blog post. In it, the developers state:
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. 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 fact that all links that have been created on the goo.gl website will continue to redirect is a good thing. You don’t have to worry about your old links continuing to work – they just will. However, you won’t be able to create new links going forward.
If you are looking to create new short links, Google recommends you use Firebase Dynamic Links. While I’ve never used FDLs, they seem quite complex for the simple web redirects that goo.gl provided. My recommendation is that users check out popular services like Bitly and Ow.ly as an alternative. However, a big downside is that goo.gl was friendly to school web filters since it is a Google product. Other URL shorteners will probably be blocked by Lightspeed and other filters. When in doubt, check with your tech leaders.
So RIP to goo.gl – you will be missed!