July 31, 2014

Facebook Messenger beta lets Android users test new features

facebookmessenger

Following Facebook‘s introduction of the Beta program for their Android application last year, the company have just announced the Facebook Messenger for Android Beta program which will give users who opt-in the latest versions of the messenger app before general release.

As with the main Facebook application, our goals with this program are to expand our pool of testers and gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices. Simply by using the app and reporting issues, beta testers will be able to help us improve performance and the overall experience on a wide variety of Android devices at scale.

Anyone is able to join the Beta program for Facebook Messenger, but be aware that since the purpose of the app is for testing, Facebook will be closely monitoring user activity. The monitoring will be looking for bugs and how people use the app and the new features, but to do so it means providing increased awareness of your activity within the app, which for something as social and personal as Facebook Messenger may not be entirely desirable.

The beta program will provide us with an early warning system that will help make everyone’s experience with the app better, once we push it more broadly. Also, since Messenger is all about private sharing and small groups communication, the beta program will give us another channel to understand what kinds of sharing tools resonate with people using Messenger.

If you’re not yet put off by Facebook watching your every move, then it’s simple to sign up for the Beta program.

1) Join the Facebook Messenger for Android Beta Testers Google group:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/messenger-for-android-beta-testers

2) Allow beta downloads by clicking “Become a Tester” in the Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester)

3) Download Facebook Messenger from the Play Store to update your app

4) Turn on automatic updates, as the beta version of Facebook Messenger for Android will be updated multiple times per week

As ever, remember it’s Beta software so is bound to be riddled with bugs and unexpected occurrences, but with the latest Facebook Messenger features at our fingertips who cares, right?