Goo.gl, the search giant’s URL shortener that takes long web addresses and squeezes them into fewer characters, now has a brand spanking new programmable application interface that third-party developers can use to integrate the Goo.gl shortening service into their own apps.

Google’s URL shortening service has been available to the general public since September, but this marks the first time the company allowed outside parties to plug into the system and use the service in their own apps. The announcement also reveals Google’s intentions to challenge other URL shortening services out there like bit.ly, which is predominantly used to shorten long URLs in tweets.

According to the Google Code Labs site, the just-released API lets developers "programmatically interact with this service and to develop applications that use simple HTTP methods to store, share, and manage goo.gl short URLs from anywhere on the Internet."

The new API also provides access to URL history and analytics. In a yesterday blog post announcing the API, Google’s engineer Ben D’Angelo highlighted several usage scenarios:

You could use these features for a wide variety of applications, enabling behaviors ranging from auto-shortening within Twitter or Google Buzz clients to running regular jobs that monitor your usage statistics and traffic patterns.

Although Google previously said its spider is crawling and indexing bit.ly links in public Twitter timelines, there’s no doubt that the company would love to see its URL shortener implemented in popular apps such as the official Twitter client for Android and iOS, multi-platform TweetDeck and other.

Source: The official Google code blog