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This article was published on October 12, 2013

Facebook launches an alpha testing program for Android users

Facebook launches an alpha testing program for Android users

Facebook is looking to get user feedback on its Android mobile app in a much earlier phase than ever before. In a blog post, mobile release engineering lead Christian Legnitto introduced its Facebook for Android alpha testing program.

This summer, the social networking company unveiled its Facebook for Android beta program, which was designed to help it better understand user feedback. The company leveraged a new service in the Google Play Store that enabled developers to do testing before their final versions went out to the masses.

In the four months since the beta program was released, Facebook says it is seeing over 1 million daily active users on its beta release from across 150 countries. Its testers are trying the company’s apps on phones from over 50 manufacturers, run multiple versions of Android, and across various networks. The company also says that it has received over 1,000 direct pieces of feedback from participants, including feature requests, bug reports, and posts in its feedback groups.

With its alpha program, Facebook wants to get feedback at an earlier stage in the development process. But aside from where in the process it takes place, both the alpha and beta programs will be pretty similar. Here’s how you can get enrolled in the program:

  1. Join the Facebook for Android Alpha Testers Google group
  2. Allow alpha downloads by clicking “Become a Tester” in the Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester)
  3. Download Facebook from the Play Store to update your app
  4. Turn on automatic updates–we’ll be updating alpha multiple times per week
  5. Report problems and give us feedback by using the “Report a Problem” menu item

It’s possible to sign up for both programs, but Facebook says if you do, you’ll receive the alpha version — it will install over both the beta and general release of Facebook’s app.

Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Hat tip to AllFacebook

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