Proposal to add 'Public Beta' tag to Byte

This thread is the collaborative effort of some users (listed at the end) to propose the idea of adding a ‘beta’ or ‘public/open beta’ tag to the app to retain more users. It is in no way meant to undermine the work of the staff or tell them how they should be running the app, but just some thoughts and suggestions on what we believe might help.


We know, but others don’t

The active byte members have seen the process this team and community has been through and know that there is a great amount of potential in this app. However, one of the biggest issues with new users is that they join the app thinking that it’s the final product and are unaware that the app is still being worked on. Adding the ‘beta’ tag might be a good way of addressing that issue.

Safety net of beta

People tend to be MUCH more critical of finished products, so when they download byte (which seems to be a finished product from the outside perspective), and they feel that there are missing features or a lack of engagement, they are quick to criticize these and end up leaving. When something is in beta, people tend to be more forgiving with bugs, glitches, missing features, etc since it can all be improved upon or added through many updates over time. So adding the ‘beta’ tag onto the title would inform newcomers that the app is still being worked on and perhaps this would retain more users.

A perfect example of this would be video games. Many games have an open/public beta stage, and if people find issues, bugs, or missing key features during this stage, they excuse them since it’s only in beta. Had these same issues, bugs, or missing key features been found on a game that seemed to be complete, users would end up deleting that game.

When byte was in beta, the active community members were excited to invite others to the app, and the missing features at the time could be excused by the app being in a closed beta. But now it’s hard to invite new people to the app and get them to stay without repeating that “the app is still being worked on” or “this and that will be added eventually.”

What beta would mean?

One thing to note here is that beta wouldn’t mean a downgrade. It would just be a way of informing unaware new users that the app is still being developed. It also doesn’t mean that anything has to change (apart from calling it an open/public beta). The [closed] beta testers will still be there to test for bugs and other issues before things are pushed to the public.

An additional benefit to this would be that things can now be freely tested on a larger scale. The [closed] beta testers can give feedback, but sometimes you need to test certain features with more users (Similar to how we got a better idea of what needed to be changed after it was tested by more users at launch). It would also make people feel like they are part of the community and are contributing towards building this project, which makes you want to support it even more and encourages them to stay up to date on the forums, byte site, and twitter.

Dealing with moving into public/open beta

Moving from public to public beta is a very difficult decision to make (and of course completely up to the team since they know the state of the app better than we do). It would be a tough transition and may seem like a step backwards but it could potentially help us move forward towards building a stronger app that has more user retention and can grow more. And it shouldn’t be looked at as “we messed up, let’s go back” but more as a way to be able to test things on a larger scale, get more feedback, and make it easier to push new updates.

The question then becomes, when will they launch? The aim here is to polish the app, not perfect it. To bring it to a point where all the basic features (like rebyte notifications, toggleable stats, and ability to like comments, and directly reply to comments, etc) are readily available for users, and the additional stuff (like floaties, etc) can come after. A polished app doesn’t mean final. But having the polished app would give users a reason to stick around, and also would create an opportunity to start advertising. If that can be achieved, and the team is then comfortable with the polished version, a secondary launch could potentially even cause another spike of new users, most of whom might even stick around for longer

Tl;dr

Users join byte and immediately criticize the app complaining that it has unfinished features and isn’t engaging enough which causes them to leave as soon as they join thinking it’s a finished app. Long time users see the full potential of what this app/community can be. Adding a ‘Beta’ tag to the title helps resolve some of the issues. Users would stick around thinking this is an ongoing work in progress that they can contribute to the app.

Best,
@FaizalDawx (@ Faizal on byte)
@Super (@ Dylan on byte)

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Coming from myself, I want to do everything I can to help this community and give every suggestion I can to improve it. I mean well with every idea in the proposition. I believe that dom and his team are doing everything in their power to do what’s best for the app. There’s a reason why I’ve been here so long and it’s because I believe in this community and this team. You all have so much potential. Also you have my word, and I’m sure I speak for most people here, no matter the ups or downs we encounter I’ll always be here to support and create content for this app.

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I’d like to add that: its clear to the community the amount of effort the byte team has put into this app and we whole heartedly appreciate them for that. This app is something I’ve been following from the very start and really care for. So, these suggestions (which I hope didn’t come off as harsh) are out of my want for the app to flourish. Even if this exact approach isn’t something the byte team sees themselves following, I would hope it’s at least considered. Maybe it’ll even spark a different idea for them.

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i love this app and personally cant wait for the day that you, the team, feel that the app is ready to push to new users. thank you for all you have done and continue to do for us! <3

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I completely agree! The fact that people are saying that “Byte Died” is really saddening for the community, creators and im assuming staff. Byte has SO MUCH potential, and it really is an amazing platform, but it is lacking in features. It has bugs and issues many don’t really like to see with a “full release” of the app. Considering this as a PUBLIC PUBLIC Beta would be so much better not only because new people on the app wouldn’t instantly be critical but also would give staff less pressure. I personally feel like it would bring the mood up for the app, as well as allow for the community to grow without all of the negative criticism.

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I agree. A lot of people desire quick and instant gratification, myself included, and especially when you feel like the product in your hands is all you’re going to get, you attention, devotion, and wonder can start to waver. I definitely think that this could mean a lot more for the app, as well as exemplify that it’s still largely in its preliminary phases.

(and like dylan and faizal said, you know what you do team. we got your back.)

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But the partner programme is coming on 15th of April which would not be good for public beta I guess because people won’t invest in public beta then an official release

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unfortunately some app store guidelines prevent us from labeling the app as beta (that was the original plan)

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But I think so the app is completely fine. As in terms of bugs there might be 5% of it rest everything is perfect @dom

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Rather than bugs, I think it’s more about “completeness” or features for a “complete experience”

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the thing about the beta tag is it’s a nice way to protect certain parts of the app, but it doesn’t account for the real areas that need improvement. while those things are important and we’re working on them them, it’s not like the main turnoff is not being able to like comments or something. those are things that you would look past if the more important aspects (creator tools, content, vibe) roped you in. for most people, they don’t

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that said i don’t mind us trying to communicate it some other way because, yes, there are some massive changes and tests coming. but our hands are tied about doing it visibly in the app

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Well I’m excited for whatever changes/tests/features that may be coming! It’s been a roller coaster ride so far and I do not want to get off anytime soon! Thank you @dom for this little update. :innocent:

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I completely agree! A lot of people keep comparing byte to vine and are leaving because they simply dont understand it’s still a fresh released app with HUGE changes coming.

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Late this, but seems like Dom already answered your question. But, I’m excited for…

Can’t wait to see what Byte has in stored :slightly_smiling_face:

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Is there a list of potential solutions from the group in the original post? I followed both @faizal and @dylan on Twitter so you can private message me there as well. Can you guys message me there privately?

I am impressed with the professionalism in Dom’s reply here. The people here have been amazing compared to ANY other social media platform I have been on.

I am very impressed by what you have done with Byte. VERY! As it stands now. My hope was that there would still be room to contribute and it is exciting there is room to contribute still. The culture has not been built yet. Once the culture is built you can not undo it and Tik-Tok has proven that. They can not undo the “dance” and “China” culture stuff that is built-in and tied to their name. Byte? It is really awesome that the culture is not locked in yet.

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lets call it gamma then beta isnt the only greek letter :eyes:

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ok now i really want that because i would LOVE to sound like we are the worlds weirdest fraternity/sorority. ya im on byte. we are in zeta delta kappa! GO BYTE!! pom poms here like fr i am v i b i n g with this rn

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If your first launch does not embarrass you you waited too long. Do you guys know who said that?