Facebook just can't get enough of the reports and feedback that its getting from volunteers who have helped test beta versions of its Facebook for Android app. Now the social networking giant seeking even braver souls to help it squash bugs even sooner with its new alpha testing program.
It's not uncommon these days to harness the power of the masses to help test and polish a product, especially an app that gets used by thousands of people worldwide. Facebook launched its beta testing program just last June and, according to its report today, the amount of feedback that they've received is quite astounding. It says that it has gotten over 1,000 direct pieces of feedback that covers feature requests and bug reports from over 260,000 using devices from over 50 manufacturers, running different version of Android from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean, in different network conditions. Apparently, Facebook has been quite impressed by the results that it is now expanding its testing program even further.
Introducing the alpha testing program that will let willing users get involved in the process at an even earlier stage. With this program, testers will get access to an alpha version of an app that gets updated multiple times a week. This is not exactly for the faint of heart, as alpha versions will contain bugs that, hopefully, will get quickly identified, reported, and fixed. It will have new features and layouts that may come and go, and sometimes even come back. As scary as it may sound, it is this early stage that feedback is even more critical, to not let issues slip through the cracks.
To join the Facebook for Android alpha testing program, interested users must join the dedicated Google group for alpha testers. From there, they will be able to get access to the Google Play Store page where they can allow downloading of alpha versions by selecting "Become a Tester". Testers should note that alpha versions will install over beta and final versions of the app. Opting out of the alpha testing program later can be done by simply selecting "Leave the test" from the Google Play Store page.