The 10 ways you should be using feature flags

There are a lot of ways to use feature flags – and not all of them are obvious. Here are just some of the ways in which companies use feature flags:

  1. Opt In – Run beta programs on your live application by explicitly including the people you want to see a new feature.
  2. Kill Switch – Quickly turn off a poorly performing feature.
  3. Early Access – Allows users to opt-in for early access to new features.
  4. Scalable Roll Outs – Do phased rollouts to percentages of your users to verify there are no scalability issues.
  5. Block Users – Protect features from users by excluding them from ever seeing them – for example, excluding anyone from TechCrunch from seeing new functionality.
  6. Run A/B Tests – Run A/B tests of features to see which features perform better.
  7. Paygate – Control subscription plans by bundling feature flags into plan.
  8. Newbie vs Power User – Show expert users and beginner users different features entirely.
  9. Maintenance Mode – Put portions (or your entire application) into maintenance mode.
  10. Sunset – Cleanly sunset old, unused features.