Wish logo

Wish used Embrace to solve their second-biggest crash, affecting 1% of users every release

Wish logo on multiple phones
San Francisco, CA
Android and iOS
"Embrace was pivotal in the success of our mobile app."
Rob Resma, Software Engineering Manager, Wish
Rob Resma, Software Engineering Manager, Wish
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Wish is an e-commerce shopping platform focused on delivering affordable products to users in a fun, entertaining way. It offers several features to drive engagement, including Sweepstakes, Blitz Buys (daily discounted items), Rewards, Daily Login Bonuses, and more.

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Wish was growing fast, with a lean mobile team focused on building new features. However, they needed tooling that could enable them to more efficiently troubleshoot performance and stability problems in the app.

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With Embrace’s alerts, Wish engineers are the first to know when new issues surface. And with Embrace’s session replay and crash reporting, Wish engineers can instantly reproduce any issue and solve it by looking up the technical events and user actions of every user experience.

Wish’s goal is to bring affordable goods to users throughout the world

Wish is a mobile-focused e-commerce shopping platform, differentiating from other online retailers by targeting value conscious consumers. Their goal is to save users money when they shop online and make it fun in the process.

And Wish has been very successful, recently having an IPO that raised over $1 billion. But success did not come easy for the mobile team, who struggled to efficiently identify and solve issues that caused poor user experiences.

Wish app showing products for bicyclists and dog owners

"Before Embrace, we had four developers on our mobile team, and the app was growing fast. Our focus was on pushing out new features. We didn’t have the time or tools to fix some of the big issues in the app."

Nop Shusang, Head of the iOS Team

Firebase did not help Wish solve their second-biggest crash

Before Embrace, Wish relied on Firebase for monitoring their mobile app, but it was incredibly limited in the types of issues it could help solve. It lacked the ability to provide context, specifically the complete picture of the user’s experience.

"With Firebase, you pretty much just get a stack trace, which often is not enough to help diagnose a problem. For example, we had a crash that affected 1% of our users every release, and we just couldn’t solve it with Firebase."
Wei Wu, Senior Software Engineer
Wei Wu, Senior Software Engineer

In addition, Firebase did not provide real-time data, which limited Wish’s ability to proactively address problems in new releases.

"When I was managing a release, we’d usually get notified of crash spikes at midnight the day the crashes started happening. This delay in getting data prevented us from being able to get ahead of issues early."

Wei Wu, Senior Software Engineer

Wish was growing fast, and their engineers needed tooling that could alleviate the time sink that Firebase created in regards to issue resolution timelines.

Wei Wu, Senior Software Engineer

Embrace helps Wish solve any user-impacting issue

Embrace provides mobile teams with complete session-level data for every user experience. This comprehensive approach allows Wish to debug issues that would elude traditional monitoring solutions.

"We solved our second-biggest crash that existed since the app’s first submission because of Embrace. They connected a bad network call at the beginning of the session to the cause of the crash."

Rob Resma, Software Engineering Manager

The crash in question affected 1% of Wish’s users, which at the time was around 25,000 users every release. Wish was only able to debug it because Embrace collects the technical events and user actions in every session. With this information, Wish engineers could look up an affected user’s session and immediately understand what went wrong.

"With Firebase, you know where it crashes, but you don’t know what happened leading up to it, which is where Embrace shines. You can see the pathway the user took to get to that point, which narrows down the code paths that we need to hone in on."
Themis Wang, Software Engineer
Themis Wang, Software Engineer

And Embrace enables mobile teams to identify every user-impacting issue, not just crashes. When Wish integrated iOS 14, some of Apple’s changes introduced infinite loops during specific screens.

"Our users would force quit the app on our search page because it was frozen. Embrace records these user terminations, so we could see which screen was having problems and investigate it to find the fix. Since these weren’t crashes, Firebase wouldn’t be able to surface these issues."

Themis Wang, Software Engineer

Embrace provides proactive alerting and real-time data

In a very short period of time, Wish’s mobile team has quadrupled, going from 4 to 17 members. To speed up feature development, they work in "focus pods", with each pod owning a particular area of the app, like payments, promotions, etc. With a large codebase and distinct separation of responsibilities, it’s crucial that when bugs make their way into releases that Wish engineers get notified immediately.

"We refactored our app from a monolith into Swift frameworks when we migrated to Swift Package Manager. When we released this change, there was a crash happening in one of the packages, and Embrace alerts notified us in our Slack channel immediately. We were able to quickly fix it and get a new release out soon after."
Nop Shusang, Head of the iOS Team
Nop Shusang, Head of the iOS Team

Wish can spend more time building features with the time saved debugging with Embrace

When Wish first integrated Embrace, they were a lean team that was incredibly feature-focused. Embrace eliminated a significant amount of burden when addressing stability problems.

”Our app loads a lot of images, and we had memory issues that were causing crashes. But we didn’t have the resources to tackle them. Embrace was able to show us what screens these OOMs were happening on and helped us become much smarter with image management.”

Nop Shusang, Head of the iOS Team

This is one area where Embrace truly shines — providing mobile teams with comprehensive diagnostic data so they don’t have to manually reproduce issues.

"We’re excited to continue to build and scale features as we grow. One of our biggest features is Wish Pickup where we partner with local brick and mortar stores to sell their inventory or to sell Wish’s inventory. We’ve grown that from around 90 stores to multiple thousands."

Rob Resma, Software Engineering Manager

Wish app showcasing Wish Pickup feature

And for every new feature, Wish engineers can count on Embrace to help ensure things run smoothly.

"We also recently released Community TV where users can upload videos about products and view video feeds for browsing certain products. We’ve extended it to partnerships with influencers as well. And this feature is very memory-heavy because it involves a lot of videos, so I know we’ll be using Embrace to optimize it over time."

Rob Resma, Software Engineering Manager

Wish is an amazing success story, growing from its founding in 2012 to being the most downloaded shopping app worldwide in 2018 and currently standing as the third-biggest e-commerce marketplace in the US by sales. With its recent IPO, Wish is now ready to take on even bigger challenges on its mission to continue delivering fun, affordable shopping experiences to users worldwide.

Embrace is happy to help mobile-first companies like Wish deliver better user experiences by providing complete observability into performance and stability

See why the world's best mobile-first companies use Embrace