Google is officially shutting down its goo.gl URL shortening service and will introduce Firebase Dynamic Links, or FDL, as a replacement come April 13.
The service, which launched in 2009, was useful for shortening very long URLs to fit into messaging platforms with character limits, like Twitter. It won’t be going away completely, though. Google says existing users will be able to manage links via the goog.gl console for year, after which it’ll disappear entirely.
Michael Hermanto, Google’s Firebase software engineer, says that the way people share information online has changed. As such, Google should be up to date with such changes. The aforementioned FDL allows users to redirect to specific locations in iOS, Android, or web apps, and they’re unsurprisingly called “smart URLs.”
“We launched the Google URL Shortener back in 2009 as a way to help people more easily share links and measure traffic online,” said Hermanto. “Since then, 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.”
Looking at Google’s page for FDL, the transition makes a lot of sense. After all, it seems FDL is a much more capable and dynamic service, especially in the context of how more users are using mobile for web browsing instead of the desktop.
“With Dynamic Links, your users get the best available experience for the platform they open your link on. If a user opens a Dynamic Link on iOS or Android, they can be taken directly to the linked content in your native app. If a user opens the same Dynamic Link in a desktop browser, they can be taken to the equivalent content on your website.”