When Facebook decided to shut down Parse in January, it gave developers who rely on Parse for it’s back-end services 12 months to come up with an alternative. Although Facebook open sourced Parse Server so that developers could keep their apps alive it was the fact that they didn’t have to build back-end on their own that made them choose Parse on first place.
In October in 2014 Google announced that they acquired Firebase known for it’s realtime communication, perfect fit for chat services, interactive apps and websites. However, it didn’t offer pretty much anything else like: reporting, push notifications, ad help, analytics and authentication – all major things that developers want. But now it will and developers finally have some really promising Parse alternative.
When Google acquired Firebase they had 110,000 registered developers on the platform, now the number has quadrupled and it will definetely grow.
“Firebase becomes the engineer-to-engineer tool to build the apps and then have insight into how to go to market and acquire users” said Brian Gracely, senior analyst at Wikibon, the research and consulting company.
All developers have to do is simply add few lines of code to their apps. This will allow gathering basic user information from the app to Firebasse but developers will be also able to adjust the analysis to their liking so that their user information will be more detailed e.g. when the button was pressed or the purchase made.
Thanks to this data, Firebase allows building audience segments and user’s behaviour as well as tracking ad campaigns performance. It can also track ad-driven actions by users across multiple ad platforms such as AdColony and Vungle.
What is Google’s aim?
This new approach to Firebase is proof that Google is aiming at becoming leader in cloud computing alongside with Amazon and Microsoft. Developers will be able to create apps faster and easier and Google will offer hosting those apps on its Cloud Platform. This might be the beginning of releasing more useful and lucrative services in near future.
However, Google still needs to gain developer’s trust, after ‘Parse trauma’ some of them are having hard time commiting their push notifications to big platforms.
Another big change was annouced regarding Google’s Universal App Campaigns. From now on it will work not only on Android apps but also on iOS mobile software. The app campaign service offers targeting most valuable users based on in-app conversions, e.g. booking a flight in travel app or reaching 5th level in game and it will offer option to pay for ads not only based on installs, but also before mentioned conversions.
Google is putting it’s effort into automating as much work they can that is needed to recognize who are the most valuable customers and exactly how much they are worth so advertisers will be able to bid accurate amount in ad auctions.
“We’re doing the heavy lifting with the ad creative and the targeting” said Sissie Hsiao, product management director for mobile app ads.
Why all the effort?
All those efforts are caused by Googl’e key concern – helping developers make more money since they still have trouble extracting revenue from Android users when compared to iOS users.
Google’s mobile ad revenues are growing and it seems that they finally caught up with Facebook in app install ads – they both claim that the number of ad-driven installs reached 2 billion.