According to a statement released at the time of the announcement, Goo.gl URL shortener is winding down so that the company can focus its energy on Firebase, which is “a comprehensive mobile development platform”. Simply put, developers use it to make apps.
Firebase provides developers with the opportunity to create dynamic links, which can be used to direct users to a specific location within their web apps. However, this is a far cry from the traditional Google URL shortener and current Google short URLs won’t be transferred over to Firebase.
For those who have been using the Google URL shortener to shorten long, ugly links and track their engagement online, Firebase won’t be of much use. Instead, social media managers, digital marketers and customer support teams from businesses of all sizes can start using branded links to build brand awareness, recognition, and trust.
The future of short links
When news about the Google URL shortener came out, some observers suggested the decision could be linked to the increasing association between Google short URLs and spam.
Generic URL shorteners are often used by spammers to disguise links to malware and spyware. This can bring their reputation into disrepute and, for this reason, generic short links can be banned by certain websites and email servers. There are various accounts online of people having issues posting Google short URLs to websites and social media sites, like Facebook.
This issue goes far beyond the Google URL shortener. There is a trend toward using customized, branded links. They have already become popular with big brands across every industry, from Jaguar and Lamborghini to Panda Express and Neustar.