Google Transitions Its URL Shortener Service To Firebase Dynamic Links

Google URL Shortener is known as The popular URL shortening service offered by Google is probably one of the most useful tools to do such thing out there, but Google is shutting it down.

The company said that new and anonymous users won’t be able to create links through the console starting April 13th 2018. But existing users, or whoever have logged in to use the feature at least once, can use the service for at least another year, before Google discontinues the service completely.

The announcement was made by Firebase Software Engineer Michael Hermanto. He said that "Google is refocusing its efforts by replacing it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL), which allow users to specific locations in iOS, Android or web apps."

"We launched the Google URL Shortener back in 2009 as a way to help people more easily share links and measure traffic online. 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."

Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL) are smart URLs that allow users to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app. They are free at any scale, that can survive the app install process, "so even new users see the content they're looking for when they open the app for the first time."

What this means, link creators can seamlessly transition users from their website to the equivalent content within their mobile website or app. Here, new users can pick up where they left off on one platform "without missing a beat."

Initially meant to be used for Google Toolbar and Feedburner, "URL Shortener has been a great tool that we're proud to have built." said Hermanto.

The service allows users to see the details of the short links they have created using analytics data that include traffic, referrers and visitor profiles.

Going forward as Google is shutting down its URL shortening service, all existing links will continue to redirect to the intended destination.

But after March 30th 2019, Google won't be supporting the service anymore as it will discontinue the console. After that date, people will only be able to export their link information from the console, and they won't be able to create any short links anymore.

"As we look towards the future, we're excited about the possibilities of Firebase Dynamic Links, particularly when it comes to dynamic platform detection and links that survive the app installation process. We hope you are too!"

Google recommends developers to use FDL APIs. The FDL short links will automatically detect the user's platform and send the user to either the web or your app, as appropriate.