What is a beta test?
A beta test is typically the last test performed by companies prior to releasing a product. It’s a test that involves real customers using the product in real environments. From identifying critical bugs to providing general opinions and ideas about the product, a beta test allows potential customers to be involved in the company’s product development. Testers have a chance to experience a new product firsthand, share their insight and ideas with a company, and help make a better product.
Why do companies run beta tests?
A successful beta test can have a huge impact on the success of the product, and can sometimes mean the difference between success and failure for a new product. A beta test can uncover problems with a product, new marketing angles, and other key bits of information. So, a relatively small amount of time and money invested into a beta test can result in a big return for the company.
What is Betabound?
We’re a website devoted to listing all the available beta testing opportunities out there on the interwebs. Our goal to help beta testers finds cool products to test and to help neat companies find enthusiastic beta testers. Learn more about Betabound.
I see a lot of icons next to the Betabound opportunities. What do they mean?
We wanted to make the opportunities on the Betabound site easy to navigate. Part of the way we do this is with designated icons for different product types. You can see what each icon means by checking out our icon guide.
What is a private Betabound Exclusive?
Private Betabound Exclusives come from companies that have asked Centercode to run a beta test for them. Betabound members will be notified via email and have the opportunity to sign up for these tests first. The opportunities may be posted on the Betabound homepage as well, but you will need to log in to your Betabound membership profile to apply. (If you don’t already have an account, it’s easy to create one!) All private Betabound Exclusives are run through the Betabound membership portal, giving you a similar beta testing experience each time.
What is a public Betabound Exclusive?
Public Betabound Exclusives are partnerships with startup product developers to host their beta test within our platform. Unlike our private Betabound Exclusives, you can join these tests right away. Plus, these public tests are managed by the product’s developers themselves, and your involvement is totally up to you. Since there’s no application process to join these beta tests, you get to choose how much time and effort you contribute as a tester. Your performance in these public beta tests is tracked by our team, so doing a great job here will increase the likelihood that you’ll get picked for our private Betabound Exclusives (the beta tests you have to apply to).
How do I sign up to be a beta tester?
Each opportunity on our site has a button that will take you directly to a specific company’s recruitment/sign-up page. Betabound members get early and exclusive access to some opportunities. To become a member, simply sign up and complete a profile.
Does it cost anything to be a beta tester or Betabound member?
No, it doesn’t cost anything to be a member of Betabound or to be a beta tester for traditional beta tests. There are some programs (like Kickstarter or Steam Early Access) that have people pre-order a product and then grant them access to the beta version of the product as a perk. We do carry those opportunities on our site with a big “Pre-order” clearly marked.
Do I get paid to be a beta tester?
There is no cash payment to be a beta tester — all of our testers are volunteers. Companies cannot expect your feedback to be honest and reliable if you’re being paid to give it, especially since the point of the beta test is to get unbiased and honest feedback. However, many companies do give incentives (products, gift cards, t-shirts, etc.) to testers that provide high-quality, helpful feedback. Every test will be different, but if we know the incentive for the opportunity we’ll note it in the post! Besides, the rewarding perks of being a Betabounder far outweigh just getting cash.
Are there any personal requirements (experience, location, etc)?
People from all backgrounds and all countries can be beta testers. That being said, each project will have unique tester requirements, so not every person will be eligible for every test.
Why should I join a beta test?
There are a lot of great reasons to be a beta tester. Besides earning free products and other incentives, beta testing can provide tremendous personal and professional rewards. Here is a short list of some of those benefits our testers often experience:
- Learn about new technologies.
- Enhance your professional and personal knowledge.
- Network with people who share similar interests.
- Contribute to the quality of a product you enjoy.
- Be recognized as an expert and be part of an exclusive group of testers.
- See a new product before anyone else.
- Exercise your experience with a new and innovative product.
- Be part of a select team that interacts with a company about their new products.
- Earn free products and other test opportunities.
I got into a beta… now what?
Every beta test will be different, but usually you should expect to:
- Participate on a daily basis for the duration of the test.
- Spend some time each day working with the product.
- Be willing to commit some personal hardware or software to testing.
- Be communicative and responsive to all the needs of the test.
- Maintain confidentiality during the test period (if you’ve signed an NDA).
- Report any and all findings you’ve discovered.
- Be flexible and understanding.
Will beta testing hurt my computer?
While there is an inherent risk in beta testing, it is rare for software or hardware to cause any actual damage. If you choose to beta test, you accept the risks associated with using pre-release software or hardware. This means you should back up your computer to ensure that you can restore it prior to the beta installation. In addition, you should not test beta software on a machine that has critical data on it.
Why haven’t I been selected for a beta yet?
Often companies have very specific requirements for each test. When they’re selecting testers, they need to match their criteria exactly. Here are some tips that might help:
- Complete any qualification surveys for the test with as much detail as possible.
- Respond quickly to project announcements. Most companies tend to select testers very quickly once a new beta is announced. If you apply late, it’s less likely that you will be selected.
- If you have a member profile with the company (such as your Betabound membership profile), make sure it’s up to date with all your skills, interests, and devices.
- If you have special skills or hardware that make you a great candidate for a test, mention it. Their goal is to find the absolute best suited people for each project, so that information could put you ahead.
For more advice on getting selected, visit this page.
I signed up for a test but never heard anything. Why didn’t anybody contact me?
Many tests have thousands of applicants and only a limited number of seats, so they’ll often only notify those who are selected for a project.
What happens if I sign up and then get too busy to beta test?
Priorities change and things can impact a person’s ability to beta test. If you are selected for a project and this happens, contact the company’s beta team immediately and they’ll let you know what to do from there. If you just stop participating then you’ll be taking up a spot that could be filled by someone with the time to participate. With private Betabound Exclusives opportunities, if you choose to drop out and don’t tell our beta team, you will be excluded from future beta tests.
How long is a typical beta test?
Beta tests vary in duration. Sometimes they’re a week; sometimes they can last several months. Most companies will tell you at the beginning how long they expect the test to run but you’ll need to understand that it’s an estimate and that it is subject to change. As issues are discovered, tests can be extended or even stopped early. The best idea is to keep your schedule open and flexible for a few weeks around the beta.
Do I get to keep the product if I am selected?
It differs from test to test. Most companies will give some sort of incentive to their active testers. For private Betabound Exclusives, all our active participants are eligible for an incentive at the end of the test. In most cases, this is the beta product. In cases where for some reason this isn’t possible, you will get prizes, gift certificates, or other goodies. In addition, top Betabound members will increase their likelihood of being selected for future projects.
Do you share any of my information with other companies?
Your privacy is our top concern and we do everything to protect it! Our business is entirely based around beta testing. As detailed in our privacy agreement, if you apply and are selected for a private Betabound exclusive opportunity, we’ll share your information with the company whose product is being tested (it’s important for them to understand who you are, of course). Beyond that specific situation, we do not sell or share your information with anyone.
What if I don’t want to be a member of Betabound anymore?
Your account is yours and we respect your decision. If you want, you can close it at any time. You can do this by clicking here (your login is required). Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address in your profile, letting us know you would like to close your account. Please note that while all of your personal information will be removed entirely from our system, any feedback you’ve provided in previous projects will remain, but will no longer be linked to you.