There was some celebration in our office yesterday as the total number of concurrent network connections to our servers topped one million for the first time. This is a much bigger milestone than simply one million total users; it means that at this very moment there are one million users active on Firebase-powered apps.
Firebase is no longer the scrappy little startup you might remember from our launch more than two years ago. We’ve grown up. More than 83,000 developers have created over 100,000 applications using our platform. Our servers handle 24,000,000 user sessions every day, and in the last month we’ve seen traffic from over 50,000,000 unique IP addresses (over 1% of the IPv4 address space!). Our customer list now includes large companies like Google, Yahoo, and Citrix, as well as up-and-coming startups like Instacart, Nitrous.io, and Invision.
Our team has grown as well. One year ago, there were seven of us. Today, there are 24 (plus an intern), including new folks hailing from great companies like Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce. We’ve even welcomed our first PhD to the team.
The last couple years have been a whirlwind, but we’re far more excited about what’s coming next. Nearly every part of our product has new features currently under heavy development. In fact, most of the work we’ve done over the last year has been on features that have yet to be announced. Expect big upgrades to our core API, mobile support, security API, tooling, educational resources, and framework integrations in the near future.
Mobile is an especially bright spot for us. Our sync-based API is especially powerful on mobile devices where network connections are spotty or absent. As a result, Android and iOS are now our fastest growing platforms, and we’re putting a ton of resources into improving our mobile featureset.
None of this would have been possible without a ton of community support. Thank you for your help, whether that was providing API feedback, contributing to our open source projects, answering questions on our Google Groups, or simply telling a friend about our service.
We’d invite you all by our office so we could thank you in-person, but we know most of you are not in San Francisco. So instead, if you’d like us to send you some delicious Firebase Hot Sauce and other swag, shoot us an email and we’ll hook you up. Or, if you are in fact in San Francisco, you’re welcome to come by for office hours any Friday.
Thanks again, and we look forward to updating you again at 10,000,000 concurrents!
Greg and Mark are the Co-Founders of Pathwright, an online education platform built with Firebase and hosted on Firebase Hosting.
Pathwright is a platform for online education that allows anyone to teach and sell online courses under their own name and brand.
Education is something that is easy for us to get excited about. Most of our team is comprised of former or current professional educators. Drawing from past experiences, we saw a great opportunity to fix some of the problems we saw with online learning.
Most software developed for education has been designed to supplement classroom use, not to deliver a full education online. Additionally, the user experience for teachers and students is often very poor. We started Pathwright to give forward thinking teachers an easier, more attractive way to share knowledge online.
The most heavily trafficked system being powered by Firebase is our notification system. It allows us to notify students and teachers about important events that are happening in real time.
Secondly, we use Firebase to host our Pathwright.com marketing website. We previously hosted our website on Amazon S3 behind CloudFront, but the cost of using our pathwright.com SSL certificate with CloudFront was significant in comparison to Firebase.
Given that we are a small team, making use of Firebase has saved time and money from a development and operational standpoint. We have been able to continue working on our core platform instead of hassling with the additional infrastructure.
The automatic provisioning of SSL certificates was a time-saver, and a great value. Additionally the documentation was simple, and the whole process took about ten minutes from start to finish.
Since we were a very early adopter, we contacted support to ask about a feature that we didn’t see available yet. Firebase support responded quickly and helped us get a workaround in place within 24 hours, allowing us to re-launch with Firebase almost immediately. Customer service was fast, friendly, and thorough.
Firebase Hosting has been great for us and our customers. We recommend it without hesitation.
On the server side we’re running on Amazon Web Services. Some of the more critical pieces of our stack include Linux, Postgres, Python, Django.
On the client side we develop in CoffeeScript, Sass, and Backbone.js with Marionette.
We have a variety of customers covering a wide range of topics on Pathwright. Some of our favorites include Integral Calc, GetElected and Ligonier Connect.