Instagram Alpha Channel Hits the Google Play Store
Facebook’s grown a veritable ecosystem of social networks from billion-dollar acquisitions of WhatsApp, Oculus, and other startups. But unlike Facebook proper, the third-party apps under its wing target niches. Instagram, for example, celebrates art and photography, and it’s one of Facebook’s most popular communities — in September, the social network announced that it had more than 800 million users. And on Tuesday, Instagram enthusiasts got a welcome piece of news: A new opt-in alpha testing channel on the Google Play.
Until now, Instagram users on the cutting edge haven’t had a way to test new features, but that thankfully changed this week. In a post on the /r/Android subreddit, a redditor claiming to be an Facebook employee encouraged users to sign up for the new alpha release channel on Google Play. The recruitment post has since been removed — a likely indication that the effort was successful — but the channel’s still accepting new enrollees.
To try out the alpha version of Instagram, head to this link and join the Instagram Alpha Program forum on Google Groups. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to sign up for the testing program directly through Google Play. Google’s servers will associate your account with the Instagram alpha channel within the next few hours, you’ll automatically get the latest version of the app.
Google rolled out alpha and beta channels functionality to the Play Console several years ago, and it’s enabled some of the most popular application developers to seed new features. Since users have to sign up manually for said betas and alphas, only the most dedicated fans end up getting them — a win-win for developers.
A word of warning before you sign up for the Instagram alpha: It might have bugs. If you can’t handle a bit of instability, you’re better off sticking with the stable version.
Via: Reddit Source: TestingCatalog