Twitter is the latest startup to launch a beta testing program on Android, via the Google Play app marketplace. The company has begun taking sign-ups for its “Twitter for Android Experiment Program,” which will allow users to register to test the latest, unreleased builds of Twitter’s Android application.
Users interested in becoming Twitter for Android beta testers can join this Google Group, which then provides further details about the Twitter for Android Experiment Program. The program’s goal, explains Twitter, is to “help us improve Twitter for Android and make it more accessible to people around the world, across a range of Android devices.”
Users who participate in the beta testing program will receive a notification to update their app when new builds are ready, and this build will replace the current Twitter for Android app on your phone. In other words, if using Twitter is mission critical for you on a day-to-day basis, this may not be the beta for you as Twitter warns that “some features may not function as expected” – a nice way of saying a test build is likely to be buggy.
But on the flip side, Android beta testers will get to play around with new features before Twitter launches them publicly, and they may also get a chance to try out features that Twitter decides to never actually ship.
After you join the Google Group, to continue the process of becoming a tester, you have to Visit this link to then opt in to the program. Again, users are warned that test builds may be unstable and contain bugs, but if you choose to proceed the final step is to simply download the Twitter app from the Google Play store.
Twitter for Android beta testers will certainly have their hands full with new features to try out, given the number of experiments Twitter has been running lately. The company recently began testing a new “TV Trending” box at the top of the timeline, as well as a feature which alerts you about live events that are happening nearby. Each time Twitter declined to comment about these initiatives, instead pointing TechCrunch to its blog post about “Innovation through experimentation.”
The company also radically overhauled their “Conversations” view feature this week, to make the service more accessible to new users. These changes aren’t meant only to make the Twitter product itself better, but also to help the company generate new revenue streams through advertisements and partnerships, ahead of an IPO.
We’ve reached out to Twitter for comment on the beta program and will update when we hear back.