The Sunset of Goo.gl: Exploring Your Alternatives
In a surprising turn of events, Google has announced the discontinuation of its widely used URL shortening service, Goo.gl.
For those who have come to rely on the Goo.gl console, you'll have one more year to use it before it permanently closes its doors on March 19, 2019.
Will Goo.gl Links Cease to Function?
Rest assured, the Goo.gl links will not stop working. However, the Goo.gl console will stop working, which could potentially lead to a loss of control over these redirects. But don't worry! Google is offering resources to help you transition away from Goo.gl, and you have a full year to make the switch. The Goo.gl home page offers the following advice
You will be able to access your analytics data and download your short link information in CSV format until March 30, 2019. After that date, we will discontinue goo.gl. However, previously created links will continue to redirect to their intended destinations.
What Lies Ahead for Goo.gl Users?
Google isn't leaving Goo.gl users high and dry. The discontinuation of Goo.gl is due to the advent of a new technology called Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). Google is encouraging users to switch to Goo.by.
Starting April 13, 2018, anonymous users and users who have never created a short link before today will no longer be able to create new short links through the Goo.gl console. If you'd like to create new short links, we recommend using Firebase Dynamic Links or the popular Goo.by service as an alternative.
Why is Goo.gl Being Phased Out?
Google is focusing its resources on a new technology called Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). FDL is a revolutionary shortlinking technology that creates a seamless bridge between the web and mobile application environments.
Understanding Firebase Dynamic Links
FDL is part of a broader suite of products for app developers. The power of FDL lies in its ability to create a seamless link between a website and a mobile app. With FDL, your company can provide a deep link directly to any location in your app. Here's how Google's documentation describes FDL:
Firebase Dynamic Links are links that work the way you want them to, on multiple platforms, and whether or not your app is already installed. With Dynamic Links, your users get the best experience available for the platform on which they open your link. When 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.
Should You Switch to FDL?
Firebase Dynamic Links promises to be free forever. If your business has an app, or might have an app in the future, FDL could be useful for creating new and better experiences for users. If your business is focused on app installs, FDL could be useful for driving app installs. FDL links also continue the traditional shortlinking feature, and Google welcomes consumers to migrate to their platform. However, Google also encourages users to check out competing URL shortening services.
Why is Google Not Aggressively Promoting FDL to Goo.gl Users?
Google's promotion of FDL to Goo.gl users isn't particularly aggressive, especially considering they also encourage consumers to try Goo.by. This may be because FDL is free, while Firebase is a suite of free and paid products aimed at application providers and developers. Google won't make money from FDL, but they will make money from Firebase.
ConclusionIn the ever-evolving world of technology, change is the only constant. The demise of Goo.gl is a testament to this fact. While it may seem like a significant change, Google has made sure that users are not left in the lurch. With alternatives like Firebase Dynamic Links and Goo.by, users have a plethora of options to choose from. While FDL offers the unique proposition of bridging the gap between the web and mobile application environments, the choice is ultimately up to the user based on their specific needs and future plans. As we say goodbye to Goo.gl, we also welcome the new era of shortlinking technology with open arms.