Go to console

Topic messaging on Android

Based on the publish/subscribe model, FCM topic messaging allows you to send a message to multiple devices that have opted in to a particular topic. You compose topic messages as needed, and FCM handles routing and delivering the message reliably to the right devices.

For example, users of a local tide forecasting app could opt in to a "tidal currents alerts" topic and receive notifications of optimal saltwater fishing conditions in specified areas. Users of a sports app could subscribe to automatic updates in live game scores for their favorite teams.

Some things to keep in mind about topics:

  • Topic messaging is best suited for content such as weather, or other publicly available information.
  • Topic messages are optimized for throughput rather than latency. For fast, secure delivery to single devices or small groups of devices, target messages to registration tokens, not topics.
  • If you need to send messages to multiple devices per user, consider device group messaging for those use cases.
  • Topic messaging supports unlimited subscriptions for each topic. However, FCM enforces limits in these areas:
    • One app instance can be subscribed to no more than 2000 topics.
    • If you are using batch import to subscribe app instances, each request is limited to 1000 app instances.
    • The frequency of new subscriptions is rate-limited per project. If you send too many subscription requests in a short period of time, FCM servers will respond with a 429 RESOURCE_EXHAUSTED ("quota exceeded") response. Retry with exponential backoff.

Subscribe the client app to a topic

Client apps can subscribe to any existing topic, or they can create a new topic. When a client app subscribes to a new topic name (one that does not already exist for your Firebase project), a new topic of that name is created in FCM and any client can subsequently subscribe to it.

To subscribe to a topic, the client app calls Firebase Cloud Messaging subscribeToTopic() with the FCM topic name. This method returns a Task, which can be used by a completion listener to determine whether the subscription succeeded:

Java

FirebaseMessaging.getInstance().subscribeToTopic("weather")
        .addOnCompleteListener(new OnCompleteListener<Void>() {
            @Override
            public void onComplete(@NonNull Task<Void> task) {
                String msg = getString(R.string.msg_subscribed);
                if (!task.isSuccessful()) {
                    msg = getString(R.string.msg_subscribe_failed);
                }
                Log.d(TAG, msg);
                Toast.makeText(MainActivity.this, msg, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
            }
        });

Kotlin

FirebaseMessaging.getInstance().subscribeToTopic("weather")
        .addOnCompleteListener { task ->
            var msg = getString(R.string.msg_subscribed)
            if (!task.isSuccessful) {
                msg = getString(R.string.msg_subscribe_failed)
            }
            Log.d(TAG, msg)
            Toast.makeText(baseContext, msg, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show()
        }

To unsubscribe, the client app calls Firebase Cloud Messaging unsubscribeFromTopic() with the topic name.

Manage topic subscriptions on the server

The Firebase Admin SDK and Google Instance ID APIs allow you to perform basic topic management tasks from the server side. Given their registration token(s), you can subscribe and unsubscribe client app instances in bulk using server logic.

You can subscribe client app instances to any existing topic, or you can create a new topic. When you use the API to subscribe a client app to a new topic (one that does not already exist for your Firebase project), a new topic of that name is created in FCM and any client can subsequently subscribe to it.

Subscribe and unsubscribe using the Firebase Admin SDK

You can pass a list of registration tokens to the Firebase Admin SDK subscription method to subscribe the corresponding devices to a topic:

Node.js

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
var registrationTokens = [
  'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1',
  // ...
  'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n'
];

// Subscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens to the
// topic.
admin.messaging().subscribeToTopic(registrationTokens, topic)
  .then(function(response) {
    // See the MessagingTopicManagementResponse reference documentation
    // for the contents of response.
    console.log('Successfully subscribed to topic:', response);
  })
  .catch(function(error) {
    console.log('Error subscribing to topic:', error);
  });

Java

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
List<String> registrationTokens = Arrays.asList(
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1",
    // ...
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n"
);

// Subscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens to the
// topic.
TopicManagementResponse response = FirebaseMessaging.getInstance().subscribeToTopic(
    registrationTokens, topic);
// See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
// for the contents of response.
System.out.println(response.getSuccessCount() + " tokens were subscribed successfully");

Python

# These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
registration_tokens = [
    'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1',
    # ...
    'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n',
]

# Subscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens to the
# topic.
response = messaging.subscribe_to_topic(registration_tokens, topic)
# See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
# for the contents of response.
print(response.success_count, 'tokens were subscribed successfully')

Go

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
registrationTokens := []string{
	"YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1",
	// ...
	"YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n",
}

// Subscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens to the
// topic.
response, err := client.SubscribeToTopic(ctx, registrationTokens, topic)
if err != nil {
	log.Fatalln(err)
}
// See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
// for the contents of response.
fmt.Println(response.SuccessCount, "tokens were subscribed successfully")

C#

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
var registrationTokens = new List<string>()
{
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1",
    // ...
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n",
};

// Subscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens to the
// topic
var response = await FirebaseMessaging.DefaultInstance.SubscribeToTopicAsync(
    registrationTokens, topic);
// See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
// for the contents of response.
Console.WriteLine($"{response.SuccessCount} tokens were subscribed successfully");

The Admin FCM API also allows you to unsubscribe devices from a topic by passing registration tokens to the appropriate method:

Node.js

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
var registrationTokens = [
  'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1',
  // ...
  'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n'
];

// Unsubscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens from
// the topic.
admin.messaging().unsubscribeFromTopic(registrationTokens, topic)
  .then(function(response) {
    // See the MessagingTopicManagementResponse reference documentation
    // for the contents of response.
    console.log('Successfully unsubscribed from topic:', response);
  })
  .catch(function(error) {
    console.log('Error unsubscribing from topic:', error);
  });

Java

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
List<String> registrationTokens = Arrays.asList(
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1",
    // ...
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n"
);

// Unsubscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens from
// the topic.
TopicManagementResponse response = FirebaseMessaging.getInstance().unsubscribeFromTopic(
    registrationTokens, topic);
// See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
// for the contents of response.
System.out.println(response.getSuccessCount() + " tokens were unsubscribed successfully");

Python

# These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
registration_tokens = [
    'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1',
    # ...
    'YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n',
]

# Unubscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens from the
# topic.
response = messaging.unsubscribe_from_topic(registration_tokens, topic)
# See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
# for the contents of response.
print(response.success_count, 'tokens were unsubscribed successfully')

Go

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
registrationTokens := []string{
	"YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1",
	// ...
	"YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n",
}

// Unsubscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens from
// the topic.
response, err := client.UnsubscribeFromTopic(ctx, registrationTokens, topic)
if err != nil {
	log.Fatalln(err)
}
// See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
// for the contents of response.
fmt.Println(response.SuccessCount, "tokens were unsubscribed successfully")

C#

// These registration tokens come from the client FCM SDKs.
var registrationTokens = new List<string>()
{
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_1",
    // ...
    "YOUR_REGISTRATION_TOKEN_n",
};

// Unsubscribe the devices corresponding to the registration tokens from the
// topic
var response = await FirebaseMessaging.DefaultInstance.UnsubscribeFromTopicAsync(
    registrationTokens, topic);
// See the TopicManagementResponse reference documentation
// for the contents of response.
Console.WriteLine($"{response.SuccessCount} tokens were unsubscribed successfully");

The subscribeToTopic() and unsubscribeFromTopic() methods results in an object containing the response from FCM. The return type has the same format regardless of the number of registration tokens specified in the request.

In case of an error (authentication failures, invalid token or topic etc.) these methods result in an error. For a full list of error codes, including descriptions and resolution steps, see Admin FCM API Errors.

Subscribe and unsubscribe using Instance ID APIs

Google Instance ID APIs facilitate the following topic management tasks:

Receive and handle topic messages

FCM delivers topic messages in the same way as other downstream messages.

To receive messages, use a service that extends FirebaseMessagingService. Your service should override the onMessageReceived and onDeletedMessages callbacks. It should handle any message within 20 seconds of receipt (10 seconds on Android Marshmallow). The time window may be shorter depending on OS delays incurred ahead of calling onMessageReceived. After that time, various OS behaviors such as Android O's background execution limits may interfere with your ability to complete your work. For more information see our overview on message priority.

onMessageReceived is provided for most message types, with the following exceptions:

  • Notification messages delivered when your app is in the background. In this case, the notification is delivered to the device’s system tray. A user tap on a notification opens the app launcher by default.

  • Messages with both notification and data payload, when received in the background. In this case, the notification is delivered to the device’s system tray, and the data payload is delivered in the extras of the intent of your launcher Activity.

In summary:

App state Notification Data Both
Foreground onMessageReceived onMessageReceived onMessageReceived
Background System tray onMessageReceived Notification: system tray
Data: in extras of the intent.
For more information about message types, see Notifications and data messages.

Edit the app manifest

To use FirebaseMessagingService, you need to add the following in your app manifest:

<service
    android:name=".java.MyFirebaseMessagingService"
    android:exported="false">
    <intent-filter>
        <action android:name="com.google.firebase.MESSAGING_EVENT" />
    </intent-filter>
</service>

Also, you're recommended to set default values to customize the appearance of notifications. You can specify a custom default icon and a custom default color that are applied whenever equivalent values are not set in the notification payload.

Add these lines inside the application tag to set the custom default icon and custom color:

<!-- Set custom default icon. This is used when no icon is set for incoming notification messages.
     See README(https://goo.gl/l4GJaQ) for more. -->
<meta-data
    android:name="com.google.firebase.messaging.default_notification_icon"
    android:resource="@drawable/ic_stat_ic_notification" />
<!-- Set color used with incoming notification messages. This is used when no color is set for the incoming
     notification message. See README(https://goo.gl/6BKBk7) for more. -->
<meta-data
    android:name="com.google.firebase.messaging.default_notification_color"
    android:resource="@color/colorAccent" />

Android displays the custom default icon for

  • All notification messages sent from the Notifications composer.
  • Any notification message that does not explicitly set the icon in the notification payload.

Android uses the custom default color for

  • All notification messages sent from the Notifications composer.
  • Any notification message that does not explicitly set the color in the notification payload.

If no custom default icon is set and no icon is set in the notification payload, Android displays the application icon rendered in white.

Override onMessageReceived

By overriding the method FirebaseMessagingService.onMessageReceived, you can perform actions based on the received RemoteMessage object and get the message data:

Java

@Override
public void onMessageReceived(RemoteMessage remoteMessage) {
    // ...

    // TODO(developer): Handle FCM messages here.
    // Not getting messages here? See why this may be: https://goo.gl/39bRNJ
    Log.d(TAG, "From: " + remoteMessage.getFrom());

    // Check if message contains a data payload.
    if (remoteMessage.getData().size() > 0) {
        Log.d(TAG, "Message data payload: " + remoteMessage.getData());

        if (/* Check if data needs to be processed by long running job */ true) {
            // For long-running tasks (10 seconds or more) use WorkManager.
            scheduleJob();
        } else {
            // Handle message within 10 seconds
            handleNow();
        }

    }

    // Check if message contains a notification payload.
    if (remoteMessage.getNotification() != null) {
        Log.d(TAG, "Message Notification Body: " + remoteMessage.getNotification().getBody());
    }

    // Also if you intend on generating your own notifications as a result of a received FCM
    // message, here is where that should be initiated. See sendNotification method below.
}

Kotlin

override fun onMessageReceived(remoteMessage: RemoteMessage?) {
    // ...

    // TODO(developer): Handle FCM messages here.
    // Not getting messages here? See why this may be: https://goo.gl/39bRNJ
    Log.d(TAG, "From: ${remoteMessage?.from}")

    // Check if message contains a data payload.
    remoteMessage?.data?.isNotEmpty()?.let {
        Log.d(TAG, "Message data payload: " + remoteMessage.data)

        if (/* Check if data needs to be processed by long running job */ true) {
            // For long-running tasks (10 seconds or more) use WorkManager.
            scheduleJob()
        } else {
            // Handle message within 10 seconds
            handleNow()
        }
    }

    // Check if message contains a notification payload.
    remoteMessage?.notification?.let {
        Log.d(TAG, "Message Notification Body: ${it.body}")
    }

    // Also if you intend on generating your own notifications as a result of a received FCM
    // message, here is where that should be initiated. See sendNotification method below.
}

Override onDeletedMessages

In some situations, FCM may not deliver a message. This occurs when there are too many messages (>100) pending for your app on a particular device at the time it connects or if the device hasn't connected to FCM in more than one month. In these cases, you may receive a callback to FirebaseMessagingService.onDeletedMessages() When the app instance receives this callback, it should perform a full sync with your app server. If you haven't sent a message to the app on that device within the last 4 weeks, FCM won't call onDeletedMessages().

Handle notification messages in a backgrounded app

When your app is in the background, Android directs notification messages to the system tray. A user tap on the notification opens the app launcher by default.

This includes messages that contain both notification and data payload (and all messages sent from the Notifications console). In these cases, the notification is delivered to the device's system tray, and the data payload is delivered in the extras of the intent of your launcher Activity.

For insight into message delivery to your app, see the FCM reporting dashboard, which records the number of messages sent and opened on iOS and Android devices, along with data for "impressions" (notifications seen by users) for Android apps.

Background Restricted Apps (Android P or newer)

Starting Jan 2019, FCM will not deliver messages to apps which were put into background restriction by the user (such as via: Setting -> Apps and Notification -> [appname] -> Battery). Once your app is removed from background restriction, new messages to the app will be delivered as before. In order to prevent lost messages and other background restriction impacts, make sure to avoid bad behaviors listed by the Android vitals effort. These behaviors could lead to the Android device recommending to the user that your app be background restricted. Your app can check if it is background restricted using: isBackgroundRestricted().

Build send requests

After you have created a topic, either by subscribing client app instances to the topic on the client side or via the server API, you can send messages to the topic. In your sending logic on the backend, specify the desired topic name as shown:

Node.js

// The topic name can be optionally prefixed with "/topics/".
var topic = 'highScores';

var message = {
  data: {
    score: '850',
    time: '2:45'
  },
  topic: topic
};

// Send a message to devices subscribed to the provided topic.
admin.messaging().send(message)
  .then((response) => {
    // Response is a message ID string.
    console.log('Successfully sent message:', response);
  })
  .catch((error) => {
    console.log('Error sending message:', error);
  });

Java

// The topic name can be optionally prefixed with "/topics/".
String topic = "highScores";

// See documentation on defining a message payload.
Message message = Message.builder()
    .putData("score", "850")
    .putData("time", "2:45")
    .setTopic(topic)
    .build();

// Send a message to the devices subscribed to the provided topic.
String response = FirebaseMessaging.getInstance().send(message);
// Response is a message ID string.
System.out.println("Successfully sent message: " + response);

Python

# The topic name can be optionally prefixed with "/topics/".
topic = 'highScores'

# See documentation on defining a message payload.
message = messaging.Message(
    data={
        'score': '850',
        'time': '2:45',
    },
    topic=topic,
)

# Send a message to the devices subscribed to the provided topic.
response = messaging.send(message)
# Response is a message ID string.
print('Successfully sent message:', response)

Go

// The topic name can be optionally prefixed with "/topics/".
topic := "highScores"

// See documentation on defining a message payload.
message := &messaging.Message{
	Data: map[string]string{
		"score": "850",
		"time":  "2:45",
	},
	Topic: topic,
}

// Send a message to the devices subscribed to the provided topic.
response, err := client.Send(ctx, message)
if err != nil {
	log.Fatalln(err)
}
// Response is a message ID string.
fmt.Println("Successfully sent message:", response)

C#

// The topic name can be optionally prefixed with "/topics/".
var topic = "highScores";

// See documentation on defining a message payload.
var message = new Message()
{
    Data = new Dictionary<string, string>()
    {
        { "score", "850" },
        { "time", "2:45" },
    },
    Topic = topic,
};

// Send a message to the devices subscribed to the provided topic.
string response = await FirebaseMessaging.DefaultInstance.SendAsync(message);
// Response is a message ID string.
Console.WriteLine("Successfully sent message: " + response);

REST

POST https://fcm.googleapis.com/v1/projects/myproject-b5ae1/messages:send HTTP/1.1

Content-Type: application/json
Authorization: Bearer ya29.ElqKBGN2Ri_Uz...HnS_uNreA
{
  "message":{
    "topic" : "foo-bar",
    "notification" : {
      "body" : "This is a Firebase Cloud Messaging Topic Message!",
      "title" : "FCM Message"
      }
   }
}

cURL command:

curl -X POST -H "Authorization: Bearer ya29.ElqKBGN2Ri_Uz...HnS_uNreA" -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{
  "message": {
    "topic" : "foo-bar",
    "notification": {
      "body": "This is a Firebase Cloud Messaging Topic Message!",
      "title": "FCM Message"
    }
  }
}' https://fcm.googleapis.com/v1/projects/myproject-b5ae1/messages:send HTTP/1.1

To send a message to a combination of topics, specify a condition, which is a boolean expression that specifies the target topics. For example, the following condition will send messages to devices that are subscribed to TopicA and either TopicB or TopicC:

"'TopicA' in topics && ('TopicB' in topics || 'TopicC' in topics)"

FCM first evaluates any conditions in parentheses, and then evaluates the expression from left to right. In the above expression, a user subscribed to any single topic does not receive the message. Likewise, a user who does not subscribe to TopicA does not receive the message. These combinations do receive it:

  • TopicA and TopicB
  • TopicA and TopicC

You can include up to five topics in your conditional expression.

To send to a condition:

Node.js

// Define a condition which will send to devices which are subscribed
// to either the Google stock or the tech industry topics.
var condition = "'stock-GOOG' in topics || 'industry-tech' in topics";

// See documentation on defining a message payload.
var message = {
  notification: {
    title: '$GOOG up 1.43% on the day',
    body: '$GOOG gained 11.80 points to close at 835.67, up 1.43% on the day.'
  },
  condition: condition
};

// Send a message to devices subscribed to the combination of topics
// specified by the provided condition.
admin.messaging().send(message)
  .then((response) => {
    // Response is a message ID string.
    console.log('Successfully sent message:', response);
  })
  .catch((error) => {
    console.log('Error sending message:', error);
  });

Java

// Define a condition which will send to devices which are subscribed
// to either the Google stock or the tech industry topics.
String condition = "'stock-GOOG' in topics || 'industry-tech' in topics";

// See documentation on defining a message payload.
Message message = Message.builder()
    .setNotification(new Notification(
        "$GOOG up 1.43% on the day",
        "$GOOG gained 11.80 points to close at 835.67, up 1.43% on the day."))
    .setCondition(condition)
    .build();

// Send a message to devices subscribed to the combination of topics
// specified by the provided condition.
String response = FirebaseMessaging.getInstance().send(message);
// Response is a message ID string.
System.out.println("Successfully sent message: " + response);

Python

# Define a condition which will send to devices which are subscribed
# to either the Google stock or the tech industry topics.
condition = "'stock-GOOG' in topics || 'industry-tech' in topics"

# See documentation on defining a message payload.
message = messaging.Message(
    notification=messaging.Notification(
        title='$GOOG up 1.43% on the day',
        body='$GOOG gained 11.80 points to close at 835.67, up 1.43% on the day.',
    ),
    condition=condition,
)

# Send a message to devices subscribed to the combination of topics
# specified by the provided condition.
response = messaging.send(message)
# Response is a message ID string.
print('Successfully sent message:', response)

Go

// Define a condition which will send to devices which are subscribed
// to either the Google stock or the tech industry topics.
condition := "'stock-GOOG' in topics || 'industry-tech' in topics"

// See documentation on defining a message payload.
message := &messaging.Message{
	Data: map[string]string{
		"score": "850",
		"time":  "2:45",
	},
	Condition: condition,
}

// Send a message to devices subscribed to the combination of topics
// specified by the provided condition.
response, err := client.Send(ctx, message)
if err != nil {
	log.Fatalln(err)
}
// Response is a message ID string.
fmt.Println("Successfully sent message:", response)

C#

// Define a condition which will send to devices which are subscribed
// to either the Google stock or the tech industry topics.
var condition = "'stock-GOOG' in topics || 'industry-tech' in topics";

// See documentation on defining a message payload.
var message = new Message()
{
    Notification = new Notification()
    {
        Title = "$GOOG up 1.43% on the day",
        Body = "$GOOG gained 11.80 points to close at 835.67, up 1.43% on the day.",
    },
    Condition = condition,
};

// Send a message to devices subscribed to the combination of topics
// specified by the provided condition.
string response = await FirebaseMessaging.DefaultInstance.SendAsync(message);
// Response is a message ID string.
Console.WriteLine("Successfully sent message: " + response);

REST

POST https://fcm.googleapis.com/v1/projects/myproject-b5ae1/messages:send HTTP/1.1

Content-Type: application/json
Authorization: Bearer ya29.ElqKBGN2Ri_Uz...HnS_uNreA
{
   "message":{
    "condition": "'dogs' in topics || 'cats' in topics",
    "notification" : {
      "body" : "This is a Firebase Cloud Messaging Topic Message!",
      "title" : "FCM Message",
    }
  }
}

cURL command:

curl -X POST -H "Authorization: Bearer ya29.ElqKBGN2Ri_Uz...HnS_uNreA" -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{
  "notification": {
    "title": "FCM Message",
    "body": "This is a Firebase Cloud Messaging Topic Message!",
  },
  "condition": "'dogs' in topics || 'cats' in topics"
}' https://fcm.googleapis.com/v1/projects/myproject-b5ae1/messages:send HTTP/1.1

Next steps