Facebook rolls out Android beta updates to select users
16th Mar 2013 | 01:46
These Android app updates bypass the Google Play store
Facebook revealed today that it began rolling out beta updates of its Android app to select users, bypassing the usual route of installing updates through the Google Play store.
This is intended to allow a limited amount of users to experience new features through the silent updates before a wider release using Google Play, Facebook told TechRadar.
The Android app's first beta update lets users change their profile photo using their mobile device, and allows them to hide stories and report spam, discovered website Liliputing.
"The Facebook app beeps or vibrates incessantly until you install it," reports the site.
Opt-in beta updates
The good news is that these select Android users aren't random guinea pigs.
Facebook made it clear to TechRadar that the beta updates only occur if a user has allowed non-Google Play apps to be installed on their phone or tablet.
Additionally, the Facebook Android app beta updates only happen over Wi-Fi and when users have initiated installation, the company noted.
Facebook's transition to rolling out updates to the Android platform echoes what it has been doing for years with its desktop component.
The company has expressed a culture of moving fast, keeping true to that "keep shipping" mentality.