Today, Google announced that its URL shortener goo.gl is now available for public use. They’re also supporting easy QR code creation (by adding .qr to URLs) and metrics data (by adding .info to URLs). While bit.ly already offers metrics (add a “+” to any bit.ly link), they don’t currently offer QR codes.
I imagine bit.ly will follow suit and add a simple way to convert links to QR codes. This will benefit custom bit.ly domains (such as mzl.la) since users will be able to just add .qr (or whatever they decide) to turn their short links into QR codes. As a result, viewing a page on your mobile device or sending a page to a friend’s mobile will become easier in some cases. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and how important the QR code feature becomes.
In the near future, I can also see Google allowing domain owners to use the goo.gl platform instead of bit.ly for their custom URLs. It’s an easy way for Google to compete with bit.ly, and that’s clearly what they’re trying to do with goo.gl. It’s good to see that bit.ly has a new competitor, and I hope users benefit from the new services that result from this more competitive environment.