Google has finally entered the URL shortener market with the public release of its Goo.gl URL shortener.
Goo.gl was initially launched in December 2009 as the official URL shortener for Google applications, but was restricted to Google use until now.
Google claims that Goo.gl offers stability, security and speed, including automatic spam detection, and “near 100% uptime since our initial launch.”
Standing Goo.gl out from other URL shorteners (Bit.ly) aside, the service offers a variety of URL-tracking features, including URL history, traffic sources, referrers and visitor profiles for countries, browsers and platforms.
One added feature that may be popular with some users (we doubt many though) is built in support for QR codes. Users can add.qr to a Goo.gl shortened URL to generate a QR code for that link.
It may be a case of Goo.gl being a little late to the party with Goo.gl, and although some sites are speculating that the move will damage or kill off other URL shortening services, we doubt it at this stage. If Google is serious about the service though, expect to see it appearing in popular Twitter clients, and maybe then it might offer a serious competitive threat, but until then it’s business as usual in the space.