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Twitter invites Android users to test 'Alpha' experiment

The company will likely use the program to explore ways to make its mobile app more appealing to the masses.

James Martin/CNET

In the Twitterverse, alpha is the new beta. The newly public company will push out a less than half-baked version of its Android application to guinea pigs who want to test out trial features before they're ready for mainstream consumption.

Called the "Android Alpha Program," Twitter will give an invite-only list of members "earlier iterations of experiments" and access to a special forum to share their feedback and bug reports, the Twitter for Android team wrote in a note to testers obtained by TechCrunch.

The program compliments an Android beta-testing initiative Twitter kicked off earlier this year. Alpha participants should expect plenty of bugs as this version is a pre-prerelease build of the Twitter app.

Twitter, which declined a request for comment, will likely use the program to explore ways to make its mobile app more welcoming to newcomers and more appealing to the masses. Now that Twitter shares are trading on the public market, the 7-year-old company will be under intense scrutiny to grow its user base at a rapid clip so that it can someday actually turn a profit from their attention.

Update, 12:28 p.m. PT: With mention of Twitter's decline to comment.