Shhhhh!!! Facebook Likes Silent Android App Updates

By Tim Sohn 

Facebook likes to test product updates before releasing them to everyone. In keeping with that theme, the social network last Thursday announced a beta club just for Android users to stay up to date on new experimental features.

Facebook is making silent updates to its Android app available to a select number of users, but not through the Google Play Store. Facebook is completely bypassing Google, downloading the Facebook app automatically. Users then have the choice of whether they want to install it – or not – when they are notified by beep or vibration.

This update isn’t open to everyone though. Facebook for Android users must choose a setting enabling the installation of apps outside of Google Play. Users that select this option will see updates automatically downloaded on their smartphones; however, beta participants will have to OK update installations.

The way Facebook’s process works traditionally, according to TechCrunch, is, if initial feedback is successful, the social network then enables the features to just 1 percent of users. It then monitors this group for feedback and bugs, and eventually rolls it out to 10 percent, and then 100 percent of users.

This process for Android is a departure for Facebook, which typically rolls out new features on its native apps to all of its users at once.

Are you going to enable silent updates from outside the Google Play Store? Let us know in the comments below.

Image by Viorel Sima.