Looking to scale your app with paid media? If not, then use Firebase.
Updated May 02, 2019

Looking to scale your app with paid media? If not, then use Firebase.

Sam Lepak | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Firebase

Our marketing team and product development team uses Firebase to solve several of our mobile app problems. First, our product development team mainly uses Firebase for their crash reporting (Crashlytics), while our marketing team utilizes Firebase for multiple analytics and growth features. For analytics, we specifically utilize the Funnel, Retention, Events, and MAU features. As for growth features, we have been able to utilize their Dynamic Links, A/B Testing, Predictions, and Remote Configurations.
  • Analytics wise, retention is extremely important to our app, therefore we take advantage of the cohort analysis to see the impact of our middle funnel (retargeting, push, email) efforts affect the percent of users that come back into the app. Firebase allows us to easily segment these this data and look at a running average based on certain dates.
  • When it comes to any mobile app, a deep linking strategy is essential to any apps success. With Firebase's Dynamic Links, we are able to share dynamic links (recognize user device) that are able to redirect to in-app content. These deep links allow users to share other deep-linked content with friends, that also have link preview assets.
  • Firebase allows users to effectively track events, funnels, and MAUs. With this simple event tracking feature, users can put organize these events into funnels of their main user flows (e.g., checkout flows, onboarding flows, etc.), and subsequently be able to understand where the drop-off is in the funnel and then prioritize areas of the funnel to fix. Also, MAU is important to be able to tell if you are bringing in new users and what's the active volume for each platform (Android, iOS).
  • If you are looking for a mobile app analytics platform that has extremely high-quality tracking (down to an ad level), then Firebase may not be for you. While they do track basic UTMs source, medium, and sometimes campaign, Firebase's attribution only scratches the surface of what other competitors are able to do.
  • Firebase has room for improvement when it comes to its Cloud Messaging aka Push Notifications. The room for improvement lies in its user segmentation capabilities. Currently, Firebase does not allow for platform users to segment app users based on in-app events, except for their predictive user events (Firebase predicts which events users will take). Rather Firebase primarily allows for app user segmentation based on demographics and locations. Also, Firebase doesn't allow for automated push notifications or adding images to the push notifications.
  • While Firebase can export data into Google Analytics, it does not allow for direct data exports to a data visualization tool like Google Data Studio, or mobile app engagement platforms, etc. This would be a more advanced feature, that would ideally be in their paid plan.
  • Firebase has been able to help us understand reliably, the drop-off in our user flows with their funnel feature. This has made it easy for us to be able to pinpoint weaknesses in our funnel and test and optimize with data as the dependent variable.
  • From an economic standpoint, we don't pay for Firebase which is great, but as the saying goes "You get what you pay for" also holds true in this context. As we looked to grow and scale, we looked for a paid solution.
  • From a developer resource standpoint, Firebase has been extremely easy to integrate into our app. Whether it be the event tracking, dynamic links or crash reporting we have not had to waste too much developer time thanks to their well-organized developer docs.
  • Branch
Firebase does a lot of things well, but Branch.io does a lot of things great. We originally chose Firebase because it was free, had great crash reporting, and full event tracking. As we began to scale, increase paid marketing spend, and implement features such as journey banners, web-to-app and deep links for emails we needed a more enterprise solution - that's where Branch came in.

Overall, Firebase is an amazing tool if you are just starting out, otherwise, you may want to look into a more enterprise tool.
Firebase is really well-suited for beginner apps that are run by a small team, with a low marketing budget. The platform gives you the 80 / 20 of mobile app analytics with some cool features such as cloud messaging, A/B testing, in-app messages, crash reporting, etc. While if you are looking to grow and scale, then Firebase is most likely not the solution for you as attribution, cost ingestion, data export, web-to-app, journey banners, and webhooks are more suitable to your plan.