During the keynote at I/O 2016, we announced that Firebase has become a complete mobile platform that helps developers build high-quality apps, grow their user base, and earn more money. AdMob is part of how Firebase helps publishers earn revenue, and now that the dust has settled on I/O, you might have some questions about what the change means and how it affects people already monetizing with AdMob ads.
How does this affect my existing apps?
The short answer is: however you want it to. The apps you've already built are just fine the way they are, and they can keep monetizing with AdMob exactly as they do now, without changes. We've also made sure that when you do make the decision to integrate Firebase, the process is simple and straightforward. You can link your AdMob apps to Firebase projects right from the AdMob console. Firebase Analytics comes out of the box with the Firebase SDK, and you're free to choose the particular combination of Firebase services that fits your app.
Do I have to use Firebase with my new apps?
Nope. If you prefer to use AdMob by itself, that's just fine. You can import the Google Mobile Ads SDK the same way you do now, and continue to create ad units, campaigns, and reports at apps.admob.com.
My app is small! How big is the Firebase SDK?
We know SDK size is a big deal for mobile developers, and Firebase has been designed from the start to minimize its footprint. Publishers can pick and choose which services they're interested in, and only need the gradle libraries and frameworks they actually use. In our testing on Android, for example, importing the Mobile Ads SDK using the firebase-ads:9.0.0 gradle library instead of play-service-ads:9.0.0 increased the post-ProGuard size of our banner example's APK by about 100kB (though your results may vary).
Which Firebase service should I start with first?
All of the services are built to help mobile developers through the “develop, grow, and earn" lifecycle, so it depends which stage you’re at. Analytics, though, is something that every app can benefit from. Just by registering a Firebase project and importing the Firebase SDK into your app, you can start monetizing more intelligently with Firebase's free and unlimited analytics solution. Things like sessions, user demographics, revenue from in-app products, and a lot more will appear in the Firebase Analytics dashboard, with no extra code required.
Publishers can also add their own Analytics events and track them to improve their monetization strategy. For example, by adding events to monitor how users navigate between screens within an app, publishers can better understand the flow of action and find the best places to show interstitials without disrupting their users.
Are AdMob's developer resources going away?
No. The developer site has moved to a new domain, and we've added new content where appropriate, but everything you're used to is still there.
Our samples for iOS and Android now include the Firebase SDK when they build. We've also changed our quick-start guides for iOS and Android to help publishers get on board with Firebase, and the guys behind the Mobile Ads Garage are cooking up a new episode right now.