This week Twitter joins Facebook as the latest company to launch a beta testing program on Android. The company is now accepting sign-ups for its “Twitter for Android Experiment Program,” which will enable you to test the latest, unreleased builds of Twitter’s Android app.
Android beta testers will get to experiment with new features before Twitter launches them publicly. As a brand, this could give you a leg up on the competition as you’ll be able to begin strategizing how you’ll implement the new feature into your existing social media plan. Additionally, you might also get a chance to try out features that Twitter decides to never actually ship.
It’s important to note that when a new build is ready, it will replace the current Twitter for Android app on your phone. We should also note that the goal of this program is to help improve Twitter for Android and make it more accessible to people around the world, across a range of Android devices. While it will give you a behind-the-scenes look at new features, your job as a tester is to ultimately find bugs.
For these reasons, community managers and other people who rely on Twitter for day-to-day activities shouldn’t join the program — unless you plan to work from another device. Otherwise, you risk compromising your work if a bug arises, which is likely to occur in a beta setting.
Testers will certainly have their hands full as Twitter has been on a roll lately with new experiments. Earlier this month the company began testing a new TV Trending box at the top of timeline, as well as a feature that alerts people about live events happening nearby. Both of these experimental products could have a major impact on businesses using Twitter.
To sign up for the program, you’ll have to join a specific Google Group and opt in to becoming a tester. Once you’re in, you’ll receive a notification to update your app when new builds are ready, which can be accessed through the Google Play Store.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.