Material Design & Better Analytics Hit Google's URL Shortener


Whether it's sharing your blog link on Twitter and still having room to say something, sharing a URL in a text message, or just wanting to prank a friend by not letting them see what web page you're sending them, Google's URL shortener,, has a ton of different uses, and has become a fairly popular service. links pop up just about everywhere, and are used by a huge amount of people. It only makes sense that, like all of Google's other web-based services, it would eventually get a material design makeover. Not only has that day finally come, but the service now boasts improved analytics that can give you a glimpse into your audience and how active your link has been and when, not unlike their Blogger platform.

The material makeover for the site manifests itself as a blue bar that hosts the input site for regular URLs. When you pull up the site for the first time or while not logged into Google, you'll see three graphics labelled "Shorten", "Track", and "Learn" that explain some of the functions of the site. There is also a button down below for app developers to deep link their apps using Firebase Dynamic Links, allowing a user to click a link and be plopped down into a specific part of an app. A game developer, for example, could offer a demo level of an Android game through a link, or somebody building an app for a business could send a link for an executives-only e-meeting in one email, then a mass email with a link to a less exclusive meeting to all employees.

When you're signed in and have made some shortened links before, you'll see a menu at the bottom showing the links that you've created, with links to the analytics data screens for each one. This menu shows you where your clicks originated from in three different senses; what platform, what browser, and what country. You're also shown a graph that gives you chronological activity data for your link. You can also see, if applicable, the referrer domain for your link. Finally, the same menu that takes you to the analytics screen can generate a QR code that you can post anywhere or even print up and leave around town for some viral marketing.



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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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