WordPress for Android Closes Google+ Community for Beta Testers

The WordPress mobile app for Android is shutting down its beta testing community that was hosted on Google+ for the past three years. The mobile team switched to a completely open beta last year, enabling them to recruit 1,500 new testers.

The Google+ community, which currently has 1,152 members, has been the main channel for communication to and from the app’s developers. It was previously used to announce new beta versions and users posted regularly to confirm bugs, leave feedback on their experiences, and ask questions about upcoming features.

“We kept this Google+ Community opened since then but it became a place for spammers,” Automattic mobile engineer Maxime Biais said. “We decided to close it.”

Beta testers who want to continue participating are encouraged to use the open source project’s issue tracker on GitHub. Testers can also join the #mobile channel on WordPress Slack. Any testers who want to lave the beta can visit the app’s testing page and tap “Leave the Test,” followed by uninstalling and then re-installing the app from the Play Store to get the official stable version.

Despite having a healthy troop of beta testers, the open source app rarely receives any contributions from developers outside of Automattic. Recent releases have included an expansion of Automattic’s monetization path with a link for users to manage and upgrade their WordPress.com plans. This has added fuel to the friction between the needs of self-hosted sites and the presence of WordPress.com features.

Community members who have voiced complaints about the current features and goals of the app are welcome to participate in its development on GitHub. Beta testing is still open to all and new testers can opt in on the Google Play Store testing page. The Google+ Community will close on March 6, 2017, but questions and feedback are welcome in the #mobile Slack channel where the app’s developers are frequently available.

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