As of May 17, 2023, Google no longer recommends developers use their deep link feature known as Firebase Dynamic Links, hinting that they will deprecate it completely in the future.
The good news is — there are alternative deep-linking solutions to Dynamic Links.
Popular questions about Firebase Dynamic Links shutting down
What is Firebase?
Firebase is an app development platform that helps customers build and grow apps. They offer a variety of tools including cloud storage, authentication, testing, and previously deep linking.
What are Dynamic Links?
Dynamic Links is the name of Firebase’s deep-link platform. They offered short and long deep links powered by a mobile SDK. Their deferred deep-linking capability was primarily a clipboard-powered landing page; their equivalent of Branch’s NativeLink™.
Is Firebase shutting down anything else besides Dynamic Links?
Firebase is expected to deprecate only Dynamic Links and not any of their other developer features.
How long do Firebase Dynamic Link users have to migrate?
Dynamic Link users will be given a minimum of 12 months to fully migrate, but we’d recommend beginning the migration as soon as possible to ensure your current and potential customers don’t end up clicking broken Firebase links or having a poor user experience.
Will my Firebase Dynamic Links continue to work?
While Dynamic Links will continue to work for now, they will no longer work once Firebase Dynamic Links is officially shut down.
What is deep linking?
Deep links are links that can be used across all channels: email, ads, QR codes, smart banners, in-app notifications, social media, OTT/CTV, SEO, and more.They are special because they can take users directly to relevant content, rather than a generic homepage. This includes taking app users on a mobile device directly to content within the app and, for non-app users, this includes maintaining the routing through the app install to the correct content in the app after app install.
Why use a tool like Firebase Dynamic Links for deep linking?
App developers and marketers use Firebase Dynamic Links as it fulfilled the basic requirements for any mobile-linking solution. Dynamic Links were able to launch the app if a user had it installed and take app users directly to the content in the app. If a user did not have the app installed, Dynamic Links routed the user to the app install via the Apple App Store for iOS or Google Play Store for Android and then to the in-app content after app install. With Dynamic Links, you could also capture Firebase analytics and tracking data. While Firebase was a great place to start for deep linking, more advanced use cases require a more robust deep-linking provider.
Should I remove the Firebase SDK before transitioning to an alternative?
To ensure your users have a seamless experience, we highly recommend that you keep the Firebase SDK implemented to continue to handle Firebase Dynamic Links during the transition period. With an alternative like Branch, the migration can be made seamless with a side-by-side implementation of the Branch SDK and deep linking alongside the Firebase SDK.
What’s the best alternative to Firebase Dynamic Links?
Branch is a great alternative to Firebase Dynamic Links as Branch’s deep links make it even easier to handle the complexity of deep linking across platforms, channels, and use cases. Branch is both a mobile measurement partner (MMP) and mobile linking platform (MLP) which means we enable you to create and manage deep links for both organic and paid channels as well as offer robust attribution, without needing to set up and oversee different tools.
Deep linking with Branch vs Firebase Dynamic Links
Short link support
Long link support
Free custom subdomains
Custom domain support
Custom link alias support
App store fallback redirection
Universal/Android App link support
Custom URI scheme support
Social Open Graph content
Link Creation API
Security redirection allowlist
Deferred deep linking via clipboard (NativeLink™)
Probabilistic deferred deep linking
App content preview page (Deepviews®/NativeLink™) Support
App content preview page (Deepviews®/NativeLink™) HTML/CSS Customization
Link-level attribution windows
Email integrations (Universal Email)