Introducing Firebase Notifications

Firebase Notifications is a free service that enables user notifications for Android and iOS devices. Through the Firebase console, you can send notifications quickly and easily across platforms with no server coding required. These notifications can be directed at your individual users; to topics that they subscribe to; or to segments defined by analytics audiences.

Notifications is built on Firebase Cloud Messaging, and provides an option that lets you create a notification platform with minimal coding effort. It supports a graphical console for sending messages, removing the need for you to create a server. With this console, you can re-engage and retain your user base, foster app growth, and support marketing campaigns. If you are currently using Google Cloud Messaging, we highly encourage you to migrate to Firebase Cloud Messaging to for your Android and iOS apps to take advantage of Firebase Notifications. Check out our migration guide here.

Firebase Notifications integrates closely with Firebase Analytics, allowing you to define custom audiences and direct notifications to them. So, for example, you can send notifications to user segments for a particular app, version of an app, or language.

Creating notifications is very straightforward — you simply use the Firebase Notifications GUI in the console to compose and send notifications to apps that are linked to your project in the console. When your app is in the background on a user’s device, notifications are delivered to the system tray. Tapping the notification opens the app. With a little code, it’s easy to add handlers to receive the message when the app is in the foreground, and respond to it by, for example, launching a foreground activity.

This talk about Firebase Notifications from Google I/O 2016, goes over Firebase Notifications, showing how the console works, as well as how easy it is to write code to implement notifications into your app or site.

Busbud uses Firebase Notifications to easily engage with customers traveling around the world


Busbud is the bus travel booking website, serving over ten million departures to travelers around the world every week. It lets the user search, compare and buy tickets from hundreds of bus companies in thousands of cities and bus routes. It uses notifications to communicate with users about changes that are relevant to them, and to re-engage with them with discount codes and promotions.

Using Firebase Notifications, they were able to send, receive and see push notifications in 3 minutes. They only needed to re-compile their app using the Firebase libraries. Once done, they were able to send messages to users in a specific language, audience or topic using a single line of code.

”Firebase Notifications let Busbud jettison code we didn’t want to maintain, made it trivial to send new targeted notifications via the console while tracking engagement and is a powerful tool that makes the Busbud app a great companion for bus travellers.” - Jean Baptiste Morin, Lead Mobile Developer, Busbud

You can learn more about Firebase Notifications at the Google Developers site, where you can see documentation and examples for Firebase Notifications on Android and iOS.