When Google introduced its goo.gl URL shortener in 2009, it came at a time when the web wasn't littered with similar services. Since then, many companies have emerged to offer similar functionality. And that's a good thing, because if you did like goo.gl, you're going to have to find an alternative very soon.
In a new blog post, Google has announced that it's shuttering its goo.gl URL shortening service on March 30, 2019, paving the way for developers to shift their focus to its Firebase Dynamic Links API. Users and developers alike have the one-year period to continue using the service, though if you've never used goo.gl before April 13, you can count yourself out beyond that date.
Fortunately, Google has no intentions to make the millions of goo.gl links out there suddenly become broken after the deadline, so the company has said that they will continue to work - you just won't be able to create new ones.
As upsetting as this closure could be, the fact that there are many URL shortener alternatives make this a minor deal for most. Google recommends moving to Bit.ly or Ow.ly if you want a good alternative, and don't feel like searching on your own. Both services have become well regarded since their introduction, and offer analytics to users who require them.
The ultimate reason for this shuttering is that Google wants to push developers towards Firebase Dynamic Links, a new link format that allows website and app developers to use one link to dictate multiple destinations, based entirely on the context. A link could send someone to a webpage, or a specific section inside of an app. Sadly, this isn't an alternative for the regular user, but again, services like Bit.ly will continue to exist and deliver the same functionality you've come to expect.