Google Will Retire URL Shortener, but Existing Links Will Work

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Google has announced that it will shut down its popular URL shortening service and replace it with Firebase Dynamic Links. The migration will start on April 13, when new users who have never before created links will no longer be able to create new links. Existing users, however, can continue using the service until March 31, 2019, which is when the company will fully discontinue it. Thankfully, though, all existing links will still continue to work as intended.

The same will apply to developers as well, with Google saying that only projects that have accessed URL Shortener APIs before will be able to create short links beyond May 30, 2018. The company intends to discontinue the APIs for good from March 30, 2019. Beyond that, Google hopes developers will use FDL APIs for their URL shortening needs.

“As it is for consumers, all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination after March 30, 2019. However, existing short links will not be migrated to the Firebase console/API”

Firebase Dynamic Links (FDLs), which is replacing the service, is also a Google service that’s based on the company’s Firebase mobile and web app management platform. One of the clear advantages of this move is that users get the best experience for the platform they are using when viewing the link. They can be taken directly to the linked content in a native Android or iOS app on mobile, or the content on the website when viewing it on a PC.

According to Google, “They 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”. Like, FDL is also a free service, and Google promises that it will continue to remain so ‘forever’.

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