Android smartphone users span a multitude of devices, each with their own unique set of specifications and operating on different versions of the platform. Therein lies the problem for Facebook’s goal of offering a consistent mobile app experience for all Android users, and the reason why it needs to expand beta testing.
Despite having an in-house team of more than 1,000 people testing and offering feedback on Android updates, fixes and features, plus mobile industry partners, like Qualcomm, HTC and Sony, involved a beta programme, Facebook needs a wider, more representative pool of testers for its Android products.
The Android Beta Testing Programme opened up yesterday and offers users who sign up access to the latest version of Facebook for Android ahead of its general release in exchange for their feedback and issue reporting.
This affords Facebook the opportunity to test devices at scale that they may not have been able to before, ensuring a better experience for the wider selection of users when final releases are pushed out.
Facebook for Android beta testers will receive new fixes and features every month. All they have to do is use the app as usual and submit a report if they encounter any problems. Users are warned, however, that a beta release won’t be as stable as the final product that they’re accustomed to.
Instructions on how to sign up are provided by Facebook for Android product manager Ragavan Srinivasan on Facebook.