Google this week launched an API intended to enhance the company's URL shortener.

The company rolled out the Google URL shortener in September, but it lacked an API to integrate the shortener into applications and web pages. The API for the shortener, which can be found at goo.gl, now is being offered by Google Code Labs.  

"With this API, developers are able to programmatically access all of the fast, sleek goo.gl goodness that we currently provide via the Web interface. You can shorten and expand URLs using the API as well as fetch your history and analytics," said Ben D'Angelo, of the Google URL shortener team. "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."

Developers can get started at the Google APIs console. The team is continuing work on improvements such as auto-detection of "spammy" or malicious content.