Get Started with AB Testing and Remote Configuration in Firebase

David Dikman
Firebase Developers
8 min readAug 28, 2021

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Stick figure holding up a green and red flag with an A and a B written on them
Feature flags

I have been wanting to try A/B Testing since I first heard of it many years ago. It just seems such a logical thing to do, to try two things side-by-side, compare them and see which is best.

But getting started is hard. Too hard. I think the tooling and know-how haven’t been easy to find.

I have found that Firebase solves the tooling part well, and in this post, I will try to help with some know-how.

Remote Config is not just for AB testing

First, I want to advertise Firebase and Remote Config a little (note: I am not affiliated at all).

I want to show that even if your team isn’t experienced enough to do A/B testing, Remote Config can still be very valuable.

If you are working on a small project or on your own, by all means, you probably do not need this. As your system grows though and more configuration is added, this becomes an invaluable tool.

Remote Config allows you to define settings server-side and pull them down to clients. This allows you to release with the capability of enabling or changing functionality or content afterwards. What makes Remote Config especially powerful is that these settings can be segmented.

The segmentation is natively connected with Google Analytics and allows you to give different settings over different audiences, such as in a specific country, region, age group and much more.

This can be used to change things such as the number of ads to display, changing links to information pages or the email addresses.

Of course, not all of these need to change, perhaps ever, in which case, keep them hardcoded. I have found, however, that values that are defined outside the app, specifically URLs to documentation or URLs for banners, are good candidates for being configured remotely.

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David Dikman
Firebase Developers

Full-stack developer and founder. Writing here and at https://greycastle.se. Currently open for contract work.