Google has announced that it would be ending support for its goo.gl URL shortening service. Google’s Michael Hermanto said that starting April 13, anyone who had not used goo.gl before March 31 would not be allowed to create new short links. Existing users will have access to the service for one year before it will be completely shut down on March 30, 2019.
Google’s decision to end the popular ULR shortening service, which was launched in 2009, is part of the company’s efforts to move toward Firebase Dynamic Links. FDLs are smart links allow developers to redirect users to any location on a web page or within a mobile app. The company encouraged consumers who wanted to create new short links to either make use of its free FDL service or to use a link shortening service such as Bitly or Ow.ly.
Developers were advised by the company to switch over to FDL. Google told developers that unlike existing short links, FDLs would automatically detect the platform that is being used, and redirect users to a web page or mobile app depending on which service was best suited to their forum.
Google also said that FDLs would be more likely to survive the app installation process than standard links, this would make it easier to search up content.
Another possible benefit of the move towards FDLs is one of security. In 2016, it was reported that shortened URLs were a lot more susceptible to security flaws than the standard links. Both Google and Microsoft took action to address these flaws.
In addition to a focus on FDL links, Google said that its decision to end goo.gl was due to the changing ways in which users navigated the web. The company said that when it launched the service in 2009, the majority of users used desktop web browsers to access the internet.
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