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Send messages to topics on Web/JavaScript

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

Given a registration token and a topic name, you can add the token to the topic using the Google Instance ID server API. Call the Instance ID API at this endpoint, providing the app instance's registration token and the topic name:

 https://iid.googleapis.com/iid/v1/<REGISTRATION_TOKEN>/rel/topics/<TOPIC_NAME>

To subscribe an app instance to a topic named "movies," for example, send the following POST request from your server to the endpoint, adding your server API key in the authorizaton header as shown:

https://iid.googleapis.com/iid/v1/nKctODamlM4:CKrh_PC8kIb7O...clJONHoA/rel/topics/movies
Content-Type:application/json
Authorization:key=AIzaSyZ-1u...0GBYzPu7Udno5aA

Do not ever send this type of request from the client, because of the sensitivity of the server key.

A successful request returns HTTP 200 OK. For more information about error responses and about how to send batch requests, see Create relationship maps for app instances

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")

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")

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.

Receive and handle topic messages

FCM delivers topic messages in the same way as other downstream messages. How to handle messages on the client depends on the foreground/background state of the web page and other factors described in this section.

The behavior of messages differs depending on whether the page is in the foreground (has focus), or in the background, hidden behind other tabs, or completely closed. In all cases the page must handle the onMessage callback, but in background cases you may also need to handle setBackgroundMessageHandler or configure the display notification to allow the user to bring your web app into the foreground.

App state Notification Data Both
Foreground onMessage onMessage onMessage
Background (service worker) Notification displayed by SDK setBackgroundMessageHandler Notification displayed by SDK

Handle messages when your web app is in the foreground

In order to receive the onMessage event, your app must define the Firebase messaging service worker in firebase-messaging-sw.js. Alternatively, you can specify an existing service worker with useServiceWorker.

// Give the service worker access to Firebase Messaging.
// Note that you can only use Firebase Messaging here, other Firebase libraries
// are not available in the service worker.
importScripts('https://www.gstatic.com/firebasejs/4.8.1/firebase-app.js');
importScripts('https://www.gstatic.com/firebasejs/4.8.1/firebase-messaging.js');

// Initialize the Firebase app in the service worker by passing in the
// messagingSenderId.
firebase.initializeApp({
  'messagingSenderId': 'YOUR-SENDER-ID'
});

// Retrieve an instance of Firebase Messaging so that it can handle background
// messages.
const messaging = firebase.messaging();

When your app is in the foreground (the user is currently viewing your web page), you can receive data and notification payloads directly in the page.

// Handle incoming messages. Called when:
// - a message is received while the app has focus
// - the user clicks on an app notification created by a service worker
//   `messaging.setBackgroundMessageHandler` handler.
messaging.onMessage((payload) => {
  console.log('Message received. ', payload);
  // ...
});

Handle messages when your web app is in the background

All messages received while the app is in the background trigger a display notification in the browser. You can specify options for this notification, such as title or click action, either in the send request from your app server, or using service worker logic on the client.

Setting notification options in the send request

For notification messages sent from the app server, the FCM JavaScript API supports the fcm_options.link key. Typically this is set to a page in your web app:

https://fcm.googleapis.com//v1/projects/<YOUR-PROJECT-ID>/messages:send
Content-Type: application/json
Authorization: bearer <YOUR-ACCESS-TOKEN>

{
  "message": {
    "topic": "matchday"
    "notification": {
      "title": "Background Message Title",
      "body": "Background message body"
    },
    "webpush": {
      "fcm_options": {
        "link": "https://dummypage.com"
      }
    }
  }
}

If the link value points to a page that is already open in a browser tab, a click on the notification brings that tab into the foreground. If the page is not already open, a notification click opens the page in a new tab.

Because data messages don't support fcm_options.link, you are recommended to add a notification payload to all data messages. Alternatively, you can handle notifications using the service worker.

For an explanation of the difference between notification and data messages, see Message types.

Setting notification options in the service worker

For data messages, you can set notification options in the service worker. First, initialize your app in the service worker:

// Give the service worker access to Firebase Messaging.
// Note that you can only use Firebase Messaging here, other Firebase libraries
// are not available in the service worker.
importScripts('https://www.gstatic.com/firebasejs/4.8.1/firebase-app.js');
importScripts('https://www.gstatic.com/firebasejs/4.8.1/firebase-messaging.js');

// Initialize the Firebase app in the service worker by passing in the
// messagingSenderId.
firebase.initializeApp({
  'messagingSenderId': 'YOUR-SENDER-ID'
});

// Retrieve an instance of Firebase Messaging so that it can handle background
// messages.
const messaging = firebase.messaging();

To set options, call setBackgroundMessageHandler in firebase-messaging-sw.js. In this example, we create a notification with title, body and icon fields.

messaging.setBackgroundMessageHandler(function(payload) {
  console.log('[firebase-messaging-sw.js] Received background message ', payload);
  // Customize notification here
  var notificationTitle = 'Background Message Title';
  var notificationOptions = {
    body: 'Background Message body.',
    icon: '/firebase-logo.png'
  };

  return self.registration.showNotification(notificationTitle,
    notificationOptions);
});

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