Firebase is a great way to connect your Apple (iOS) and Android apps to Google Analytics 4.
That’s because Firebase and GA4 are both Google products, making them highly compatible.
You can integrate Firebase with Google Analytics 4 by starting with either of the two platforms. I’m going to show you how, explain some of the benefits of doing so, and share other useful information about Firebase, such as the analytics they offer. (Spoiler: They’re not as robust as GA4’s full dashboard.)
- Planning Firebase GA4 Integration Setup
- Firebase Integration with GA4: Starting in Firebase
- Firebase Integration with GA4: Starting in GA4
- Add Firebase to your Apple (iOS) App
- Add Firebase to your Android App
I. Introduction to Firebase
Firebase is an app development platform that easily integrates with Google Analytics 4. It was founded in 2011.
Google acquired Firebase on Oct. 21, 2014. It had more than 100,000 registered developers on its platform when it was purchased.
Today, Firebase can be used for both Android and iOS (Apple) apps. If you already have your apps on Firebase, integrating them with GA4 is easy.
II. Advantages of Connecting Firebase to GA4 Property
1. The biggest and most obvious benefit is that both Firebase and Google Analytics 4 are Google products, which means they play well together.
2. GA4 properties are a Web + App model. (In Universal Analytics, every website and app was a separate property.)
This means that if you have a website for [yourcompany].com as well as a [Your Company] iOS and Android app, you will be able to see aggregated data for all three in the same GA4 dashboard.
(Don’t worry – within your dashboard you can also break out reports by particular data streams.)
3. Google Analytics 4 has reporting dashboards that aren’t available in Firebase Analytics.
Read More: Google Analytics 4 FAQs
III. How To Use Firebase with Google Analytics 4
The are two ways to complete GA4 Integration with Firebase. The first is in firebase itself, and the other is via the GA4 dashboard.
Here are the steps to set up the GA4 Firebase integration for both options.
Planning Firebase GA4 Integration Setup
How you connect Firebase to Google Analytics 4 largely depends on whether you already have your apps in Firebase. If so, connect your project to GA4 from there.
If you don’t already have your apps in Firebase, it may be easier to follow the second process below.
Firebase Integration with GA4: Starting in Firebase
Here’s are the steps to integrate an existing Firebase project with GA4.
1. Click the settings cog at the top left of the page and click Project settings
2. Click the integrations tab at the top of the page
3. On the box where you see Google Analytics – it should be the first one on the top left – click “Link” at the bottom-right portion of the box.
4. Select and connect your existing Google Analytics 4 property.
Your page should now look like this if you successfully linked your property:
Firebase Integration with GA4: Starting in GA4
1. Go to Admin
2. In the Property column, click Data Streams
Add Firebase to your Apple (iOS) App
Click the “iOS app” button and follow the six steps to set up your mobile app stream through Firebase.
Example Stream Name: Acme Newspaper iOS
Add Firebase to your Android App
Click the “Android app” button and follow the five steps to set up your mobile app stream through Firebase.
Example Stream Name: Acme Newspaper Android
IV. Firebase Analytics
Firebase Analytics aren’t nearly as robust as Google Analytics 4. There is some data you can track, though.
This is a high-level summary of user activity on your apps for the selected date range.
Many widgets are included by default, such as events, conversions, cohorts, retention and app stability.
A look at the last 30 minutes of user activity on your apps.
This section includes a world map, first user source (how a user first reached your app), the name of the pages and screens they have visited, their events and conversions, and more.
A list of your Events, along with the total “count” of how many times they have been triggered, and how many “users” have triggered them.
You can also turn any of your Events into Conversions here.
This is basically the same as the Events dashboard in GA4.
A list of your Events, along with the total “count” of how many times they have been triggered, and the “value” of each event.
This is basically the same as the Conversions dashboard in GA4.
A list of your audiences, which are groups of users placed together based on certain behaviors or demographics.
For example, users who purchase something on your app are put into the “Purchasers” audience.
You can have up to 100 audiences per GA4 property.
This dashboard is basically the same as the Audience dashboard in GA4.
This is where you can add custom dimensions and custom metrics to your dashboard.
Dimensions are “word-based” and include things like City and Page location.
Metrics are “number-based” – they can be calculated – and include things like Views and First opens.
This dashboard is basically the same as the Custom Dimensions dashboard in GA4.
This dashboard is unique to Firebase Analytics.
It includes the name of your apps, the release number, release status, percentage of active users and percentage of crash-free users.
This is where you go to find out how your latest release is performing.
The DebugView is designed to be used in conjunction with Google Tag Manager.
This is where you can see whether new events and parameters you have added. You should use this dashboard to make sure everything is performing as expected before publishing new events and parameters.
For a robust analysis of activity on your apps, I recommend using the full GA4 dashboard.
Firebase Analytics API
Data on your short Dynamic Links can be accessed using the REST API.
The linkStats endpoint can be used to retrieve individual Dynamic Link data.
V. Firebase Pricing
Your Firebase costs will vary depending on your app usage. Below you can see a list of the various factors that affect pricing.
If you’re just getting started and mostly need basics like analytics, cloud messaging and crash reporting, you probably won’t have to pay anything.
But if your app setup is more complicated and you already have a high volume of usage, you can calculate your costs with the blaze plan.
Firebase has a no-cost “spark” plan and a pay-as-you-go “blaze” plan.
The following products are free and unlimited as part of the spark plan:
- Cloud Messaging
- Notifications composer
- Remote Config
- App Indexing
- Dynamic Links
- Crash Reporting
The spark plan is included in the blaze plan, meaning that all these products are free there as well.
You can calculate your potential costs of the blaze plan on the Firebase website.
Projects are billed on a monthly basis, and are based on usage of the following products:
- Realtime Database
- Cloud Firestore
- Cloud Storage
- Cloud Functions
- Test Lab
- Firebase ML