An Introduction to Google Firebase

Launched in 2011, and acquired by Google in 2014, Google Firebase is a mobile and web application development platform. As of October 2018, the Firebase platform has 18 products, which are used by well over 1.5 million apps. Firebase enables marketers to unlock more data about their users and create opportunities to improve experience and performance.

What Does Firebase do for Marketers and Businesses?

As a platform which aids various departments - from development to design to marketing - Firebase is a holistic tool that allows these departments to all come together with transparency through a common tool, that can guide their direction. Thus, connecting each element for maximum impact at every stage of app development, testing and marketing. 

Perhaps the nicest feature is that Firebase does not need to be used for all of its features. The platform works flexibly allowing developers, designers and marketers to pick and choose what they need so that their support is tailored to their unique needs and the structure and capacity within their business. 

Core Features of Firebase

In a nutshell, Firebase helps businesses to "build, improve and grow their app". They do this by offering a range of tools and services which app developers would otherwise have to build themselves. So they can get on with focussing on the experience of the app itself. This is mostly targeted at iOS and Android apps. However, they do also have support for Flutter, Unity, C++ and web apps. 

The tools on offer through the Firebase platform, cover three categories: Build, Improve, Grow. 

Build tools: 

  1. Cloud Firestore
  2. ML Kit
  3. Cloud Functions
  4. Authentication
  5. Hosting
  6. Cloud Storage
  7. Realtime Database

Build tools are valuable to businesses because they make app development much more accessible. In the not so distant past, developers would have had to build most of these back-end tools themselves, taking a lot of time and resources to get an app out to market. 

With a tool like Firebase - removing the need for developers to have to build much of this themselves - businesses can do more with fewer resources, with the result being secure and scalable apps, leveraging Google's world-class infrastructure.

Improve tools: 

  • Crashlytics
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Test Lab
  • App Distribution

Building an app is, of course, just the beginning. Getting it user-approved and optimised to reach the intended market requires a great deal more work. This is where the Firebase's Improve tools come in, giving businesses access to data on their app performance and stability, which translates to insights that can inform design, marketing and strategy. 

Grow tools: 

  • In-App Messaging
  • Google Analytics
  • Predictions
  • A/B Testing
  • Cloud Messaging
  • Remote Configuration
  • Dynamic Links

Finally, once the app is built and usability is optimised, the Firebase Grow tools help with tools to reach users, simplify engagement and boost retention. 

Grow tools are particularly valuable to marketers, giving them the full suite of products needed to gain real-time insights that aid in better decision making around campaign designs and how to best engage audiences and drive downloads. 

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