Facebook today introduced the Facebook Messenger for Android beta program, which offers the latest versions of the app before the general release. It’s an opt-in program meant only for those interested in helping test the latest and greatest features.

The beta program is open to all Android users. Facebook is asking that participants use the app as they normally would, but also submit a report when they encounter an issue or notice stability problems.

To participate, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Join the Facebook Messenger for Android Beta Testers Google Group.
  2. Allow beta downloads by clicking “Become a Tester” in the Play Store.
  3. Download Facebook Messenger from the Play Store to update your app.
  4. Turn on automatic updates.

Facebook says the beta version of Facebook Messenger for Android will be updated multiple times per week. You can thus expect to see both bugs and changes appearing and disappearing every few days.

Back in June, the company launched a beta program for its main Facebook app for Android. The goals of both programs are the same: “to expand our pool of testers and gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices” as well as “help us improve performance and the overall experience.”

Facebook says its first beta program has helped it improve the quality of the main Facebook app on Android, but it wouldn’t share details beyond the fact that it has more than 1 million daily active users from over 150 countries. Still, if it’s as successful as claimed, there should be no surprise that a Messenger version is following.

With Facebook’s impending WhatsApp acquisition, it’s always interesting to hear the company make statements like that it is “building the best mobile-to-mobile messaging platform.” Yet Zuckerberg insists that Messenger and WhatsApp serve different uses, and so you can expect development for both to continue without impediments.

See also – Facebook Messenger for Windows shuts down and Facebook Messenger for Firefox shuts down

Top Image Credit: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images