Ok, another not free as in freedom, but free as in beer…Google, always wanting more revenue, I guess, decided to come out with their own URL shortener. So why need/use one? If you use a microblogger and want to share a link, you only receive so many characters. Often, a link exceeds it, so in walks a URL shortener. There are many other applications, such as writing down a link, you obviously do not want to write down all those characters.
I actually like some of the features of Google’s URL shortener better than others. I look for more features eventually, to come in line with the other products. When I went back after using it recently, I noticed it keeps up with all my goo.gl URLS (when signed into Google with my username) and the clicks. Pretty helpful for a number of reasons.