Google’s URL shortening service, goo.gl, has added an API, giving third-party developers a way to integrate the service into their own apps. The new API means Twitter clients and other apps that use short URLs can hook into goo.gl just like they do bit.ly and dozens of other shorteners.
The goo.gl API is, like most Google APIs, a RESTful JSON-based API. There are only three real methods — insert, list and get — but that’s enough info for apps to shorten and expand URLs, as well as fetch history and analytics for shortened links.
The goo.gl shortener is a late entry into an already crowded field, but of course the Google name carries a good bit of weight so you can expect most Twitter clients to add goo.gl to their list of URL shortening options. The goo.gl shortener also has a couple of nice extras like QR codes and, according to stat tracking site Pingdom, it’s both the fastest and most reliable URL shortener out there.
If you’d like to play with the new service, the API documentation and developer guide can be found on the Google Labs site. And yes, the API is a labs project and may be subject to change before it graduates into a real web service.