Understanding GA4 Data Streams applied to Mobile Development

Hello CXL Community,

I’m new to this community and will attempt to keep my first question succinct. I am looking here because Google searches, subreddit searches, and stackoverflow have fallen short trying to understand this part of GA4 setup.

Summation of my current mobile web analytics deployment status:

  • GA4 Property with a “Web” Data Stream is created with default settings
  • Mobile is being built with the ReactNative framework
  • No GA4 service is built into the ReactNative framework yet

Three questions, I have:

  1. Does having a “Web” Data Stream suffice for ReactNative mobile development?
  2. If the above is no, then I guess I’ll need to create separate iOS and Android Data Streams, correct?
  3. Assuming items 1 and 2 above are answered, how much data is automatically captured on mobile?

Thank you for your attention and discussion.


Hi Michael,

Welcome to the CXL community, and thank you for sharing your question here. I’m here to connect you with community members to help discuss and solve problems you are tackling.

Setting up GA4 for mobile development can be tricky to understand at first, but I think we can find someone to help. Would you or anyone you know be able to help Michael’s questions regarding his GA4 data stream and if it’s appropriate for ReactNative mobile development? @fred_pike @constantine_yurevich @simo_ahava @boagworld

If you aren’t able to get an answer straight away, don’t worry. I’ll follow-up and make sure to help you as best we can. Sharing your discussion helps bring more eyes to tackle this problem together.

Thank you so much, will check back,

1 Like

Hi Tania,

Thank you for the follow-up. Apologies getting back to you after three days. Didn’t immediately see a notification.

I don’t see any replies just yet but in the time I asked the question until today I have gotten some more insight into how we are developing our mobile app.

From our Developer

Basically ReactNative compiles our react code into two separate applications, one for Android and once for iOS. There are specific parts of the codebase dedicated to the different platforms that will not run on the other device type.

I interpret the above as I might actually need separate iOS and Android Data Streams in my GA4 property. BUT I am still unclear because, for example, if I give my “Web” Data Stream Measurement ID and the Dev adds the ID to the ReactNative Google Analytics Firebase SDK config file; as the code compiles into respective iOS and Android, then I imagine the “Web” Data Stream Measurement ID would get added tot he respective platform code and could satisfy capturing the data I need.

Would it be fair to say that having iOS and Android specific Data Streams is if our Devs were developing in those native environments vs. using a framework like ReactNative?

Also, digging around Google support docs I came upon this support article: Data collection - Firebase Help
It describes default data collection upon implementation which answers some of my questions.

Lastly, I am unclear if GA4 automatically captures users interacting with UI elements. Like clickTracking on web I want to know what users interact with in our mobile app. The default built-in events don’t seem to have a mobile version of clickTracking. Would I need to approach creating a custom event? Then customize what parameters I want to send along with the event?

Thank you for your reply and any help.

Take care,


Hey Michael,

Absolutely no worries. When you need us, we are available.

There haven’t been any responses, but I’m happy you found more information in this time. I can only say that distinct iOS and Android data streams seem to be necessary based on my experience working with developing mobile apps; I am unable to elaborate beyond that.

I’ll follow up once more with additional contacts and helpful resources so we can give you the confidence to move forward. And take a moment to review what you’ve found as well.

Thank you so much, and will follow up soon,

Hi Michael,

It sounds like Data Stream Measurement ID may satisfy your data-capturing needs, though I am not sure myself. So I wanted to tag @fred.pike, one of our recent community members who has discussed part of their experience here with GA4. He may be able to help!

Let us know what else you find, too. Anything you share here will help other community members too.

Thank you so much,

Thanks for tagging me, Tania. I’ve done very little (i.e. “zero” :slight_smile:) with GA4 and apps. Def a hole in my knowledge.
To Michael’s last question, my understanding is that mobile UI element interactions do not happen automatically.


Hi Fred,

Thank you for the prompt reply. Thank you for answering questions related to GA4 despite the little experience, along with Michael’s last question.

@mknoll, were you able to find more answers? If not, there are more folks in our community I can connect you with. See what insight you have since our last exchange.

Thank you for being part of our community,

Hi Tania,

Working with the developer answered one question and that is you do need to create a separate data stream for iOS and Android. Though the developer is using ReactNative to create an iOS and Android version; simply having the general “Web” data stream is NOT enough.

Once the iOS and Android version are built THEN is when you create separate data streams for each OS. Also I learned to create this in Firebase first and THEN it’s possible to link it to an existing GA4 property OR create an entirely new property.

What I am not sure about is best practice of organizing GA4 properties. Is it best practice to separate your Mobile app analytics from your Website analytics? Or are there cases where having all your analytics together in one GA4 property is best?

Thank you for connecting me with the resources so far and your continued help,


Hi @mknoll,

I’m glad you were able to work with the developer and on how to set up your data streams. It’s always a good idea to iron out important details before diving deeper into a project. You know your next steps, and that’s great.

To answer your current question, you want to combine mobile app and website analytics into one GA4 property. This allows unified reporting and analysis. You can see real-time, accurate information about users on each platform with full context. The only reason I would consider separating mobile app and website analytic properties is if the website and mobile app are not relevant to the user journey of the other. If the full user journey between web and mobile apps is not relevant to your goals. Like being able to see total unique users across each platform. So that may be something that influences your decision.

At the end of the day, the information you want to glean, and with how much context from other platforms, is what will be the best practice for you. Let me know if you have any further questions, and I will continue to help get the answers you need.

Thank you for being part of our community.