Centercode for Public Betas

Public (open) beta tests focus on very large audiences to both generate awareness and test software performance under real-world circumstances.

Public beta tests (also called open beta tests or market awareness beta tests) are beta phases that are open to any user who wishes to get involved. While not always the case, these beta tests often possess little in common with other beta tests, because they're generally more focused on raising awareness for a near-release product than they are on improving the product itself. Public beta tests are most often used to promote and improve web sites and video games, and by their nature are restricted to software only.

Public Beta Test Traits

  • No Recruitment Process - Public betas allow anyone and everyone to enter. This eliminates the need for a recruitment process of any kind and also means that international users will generally be involved.
  • Enormous Audience - Due to the open and often publicized nature of these beta tests, public betas frequently include an enormous pool of users — into the tens or even hundreds of thousands.
  • Marketing Plan - While some public beta tests still focus on improving the product, most public betas are a marketing tactic used to raise awareness and buzz surrounding a product prior to its release.
  • Load Focused - Public beta tests of server-based products (massively multiplayer video games, web applications, etc.) are often intended to test the performance of the software under a significant load.
  • Limited Participant Involvement - Most participants in a public beta use the product without actually providing feedback. Rarely do public betas try to collect meaningful data from the participants themselves.
  • No Confidentiality - Unlike most beta tests, which strive for product confidentiality, public betas are free to the world (including competitors), so the secret's out.
  • Simultaneous Betas - While public betas are run to increase awareness, companies will often run private beta tests at the same time. This allows the company to work with a small group of testers to accomplish more traditional beta goals.

Public Beta Test Challenges

  • Managing User Feedback - While public betas do not generally collect a great deal of feedback from individual users, the sheer bulk of users makes up for this in producing a huge amount of feedback. Effectively managing this information can be very difficult.
  • Hosting a Feedback Portal - Hosting a tool to collect feedback and distribute information during a public beta can be a very daunting task, as this tool may have potentially hundreds of thousands of highly active users. This fact is often overlooked, resulting in a failed public beta.
  • Promotion - A successful public beta test must be promoted in order to get the attention of a large pool of participants and achieve its goals. Promoting a beta product requires very specific knowledge and skill.
  • File Distribution - Distributing an application to an enormous group of users in a very short period of time can require a great deal of hardware and bandwidth.
Free Resource - Whitepaper - Public Beta Tests as a Launch Tool

Public Betas as a Launch Tool

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How Centercode Software Can Help Learn More »

  • Scalable - The Centercode platform has the flexibility and scalability to allow large pools of participants to effectively participate in your public beta — offering any number of public participants feedback, discussion, and survey capabilities.
  • Open Recruitment - Centercode offers the ability to open the beta test up to any user, while still allowing you to require specific information (demographics, surveys, etc.) to be completed during sign-up.
  • Mixed Public and Private Betas - Centercode allows you to run a single project with both public and private users — each with a unique experience based on access rights.
  • User Automation - Centercode includes powerful user macro and scheduling functionality to automate common user management tasks such as emailing and promoting users based on sophisticated filters.
  • Powerful Reporting - Centercode allows you to build reports which keep tabs on all aspects of the beta. This includes feedback, user forums, surveys, and user participation.

How Centercode Managed Betas Can Help Learn More »

  • File Distribution - Our Managed Betas Team can ensure all users can easily download your application. For extremely large implementations we have partners in place to further ensure successful file distribution.
  • Promotion - Our beta team can help you promote your public beta to the right candidates and customers to ensure you achieve all of your specific goals.
  • Reporting - Our beta team can deal with the challenge of building meaningful reports that include the essential information you need to make the right decisions.
  • Goals and Focus - Our beta team can help focus public users on specific tasks, ensuring that your goals are accomplished with minimal effort on your part.
  • Community Management - Public betas are so large that they often surpass the size of entire beta communities. Our beta team can work to ensure this community is thriving and growing throughout the beta.

Centercode Public Beta Test Customers

  • Adobe
    Adobe Creative Software
  • Dyyno
    Dyyno Internet Media Platform
  • Symantec
    Symantec Consumer & Enterprise Security Software
  • Sun Microsystems
    Sun Microsystems Hardware & Software Technologies

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