Facebook’s earlier app on Android received a lot of flak for performance issues and when Facebook went with native app on Android the performance gain was apparent compared to the previous one. Even then Facebook facing lot of challenges due to the diversity of devices and fragmentation of the Android ecosystem.
Facebook notes that “Performance and reliability are top priorities across Android, but when we marry the platform’s diversity of devices and OS versions with Facebook scale, the ability to test quality across experiences can become a challenge.”
To overcome these challenges it needs bigger pool of testers with all sorts of devices and Android versions, and Facebook thought that its own users are better for testing the beta apps to gather feedback and improve the app in less time. Keeping this in mind Facebook is opening a beta program for its Android app, any one can participate in the program and test the app.
Google at this year’s I/O introduced a beta tester program coupled to Google Groups, where in developers can create Google Groups and invite users to test their early builds of the app. Users have to join a particular Google Group created by developer to participate, once they are in they can download beta apps from the Play Store. Facebook is using this feature it created a Google Group for beta testers.
“And when Google launched their new beta-testing and staged rollout program for apps at I/O, we were excited to participate in it and started to work on building a open community of Facebook beta testers who would work towards making the app better for everyone. “, Facebook wrote in a blog post.
If you want to participate in the beta testing you can join this group “Facebook for Android Beta Testers”, after joining you can download the beta app from Play Store. In some cases users might receive a notification inside their Facebook app to download the beta according to Facebook. Users can use the app as normal one and when they encounter any bugs or issues they can report using a “Report Bug” in the settings menu.