Google has announced the turning down of support for its free link shortening services (Google URL Shortener) this is to take effect as from March 30, 2019,
for users who have accounts and also using the services before now.
while new users will not be able to use the services as from April 13, 2018.
in google’s official post, the major reason for this is to refocus their efforts on other services
since a lot of link shortening services are now available.
Google made mention of FDL (firebase dynamic links)
they intend to replace the URL shortener with FDL
which is a smart way to link web apps, mobile apps etc together.
what really made google URL shortener cool?…
- unlimited links
- view statistics
- accurate redirects
.. and more
so since it will no longer be available, its the right time to find a better alternative
meanwhile, note that
all shortened links will continue to redirect to its intended destination even after March 30, 2019
in simple words, all created short links will still work
but you can’t create new ones.
In case, you are reading about URL short links for the first time, let me brief you up.
what is a URL shortener?
A URL shortener is a service which has the functionality of creating short links from long links such as post URLs and these shortened links will still redirect to the required page.
Using such service is essential for bloggers, developers, and social media marketers.
A good example of where you need shortened links
is twitter which only allows 280 characters per tweet;
with a “shortened link” you can save some space for actual words.
How about Goo.gl?
Google URL shortener (goo.gl) is one of these services and happens to be powered by Google.
this platform actually provides link shortening functionality alongside traffic analysis.
and the good part was, it was totally free.
Unfortunately, it’s being shut down
and one has to look for an alternative.
5 best Google URL shortener alternatives
Before now, a lot of developers preferred to use bitly but I only used it’s API to automatically create shortened links for twitter sharing.
The service is really simple to use, and it provides you with all the features…
- link shortening
- link tracking
… available in the Google URL shortener for free
and even more
Bitly has a premium package (enterprise) that provide more features
- Unlimited custom branded links (use your name instead of bitly)
- export analytical data
- route users by devices type, app presence, and location
- scale with API integrations and multiple users
which is recommended for business and developers.
To get started with Bitly, create a free account here.
Second alternative developers often make use of is Ow.ly link shortening service
which is totally FREE to use.
Ow.ly is powered by HootSuite, a popular social media management service.
so you definitely expect them to provide pure quality in Ow.ly
Some of the features you can enjoy in ow.ly are
- shorten links
- Measure traffic
basically everything you need in a “Url shortener”.
If you would love to use this services, you would have to first create a Free HootSuite account.
with this account, you get to access Ow.ly free of charge
3. Tiny URL
The third service on my list is Tiny URL – a simple shortening services provided by Kevin Gilbertson, a web developer.
Tiny URL, unlike the others, specialized just on link shortening.
it doesn’t provide extra data such as
but it does let you decide which text to shorten with
which it refers to as “Custom Alias” i.e short link customization
It is super fast to create short links but if you need analytics
such as the number of link clicks, platforms where users are clicking on links etc
then TinyURL is not recommended.
To use TinyURL, you don’t need to sign up, just visit their site to create your shortened links.
Fourthly, Is.gd is another link shortening service I found while composing this post.
The platform is really simple and it gives exactly what you need
without going through sign-ups.
Is.gb offers an amazing feature
- Turn short URL to QR codes
what this means is
you get a code such as an example shown below
which users can scan… once a user scans that code, he gets redirected to your shortened URL.
on top of that, you can also customize shortened links
with predefined texts, numbers etc
No sign up required… just visit here to start using is.gb
Lastly, Tiny.cc is a URL shortener and QR codes generator just like is.gb mentioned above.
No login is required to shorten links but it does provide you with a login option.
you can start using Tiny.cc here
Finally, With or without “Google URL shortener” you can always shorten your links using one of these free tools.
I will be moving to Bitly since I am already using its API for automatic short link creation
and also their data tracking is really awesome.
But if you are already using HootSuite or hope to do so for scheduling social media posts then Ow.ly will be a better alternative.
Other services such as is.gb and tiny.cc are also cool for getting QR codes.
I recommend shortening your links, to avoid pasting long and ugly URLs on the web.
especially when sharing these posts to social platforms.
In recent times, I will post more on these services and how to make the best use of them.
Since Google is replacing Goo.gl with FDL, I will also check it out to see if it works great.
This is where I end this article on “Google to shut down URL shortener in March 2019 – 5 best alternatives”
Hope this post was hopeful?