Perpetual Beta

28 Apr

The rapid development of web technologies and constantly varying requirements of users have led needs for prompt and constant updates of web applications. In the age of web 2.0, the concept appearing for it is the pattern of Perpetual Beta. What does being in perpetual beta mean? It means that applications are in perpetual test mode and they are no longer software artifacts, but ongoing services. In other words, it means that applications are changed and improved continuously through constant tests.


Therefore, in the age of web 2.0, applications should not provide new functions only by single release. Instead of that, new functions should be consistently added based on general user experiences. In addition, providers of applications need steadily to observe how those new functions are used through engaging with users as real-time testers.


Facebook is a good example of this pattern. Facebook is the most famous social networking service in the world. It was launched in February 2004 and it has now more than 900 million active users. Maybe you who are reading this have also used Facebook.

facebook logo


Facebook has various and useful functions. Users can upload their files such as photos and videos and share them with other people. Moreover, users can communicate with other users using Facebook, so it greatly contributes to formation and sustainment of community. To effectively and successfully manage and improve these various functions, Facebook is put in perpetual beta and it is often updated through constant tests. In particular, to know opinions of users who are real-time testers, Facebook provides a feedback page where users can suggest their opinions on functions of Facebook. Facebook steadily reflects users’ opinions on its improvement through it. That is the key to its fame. There is no final version on Facebook. Nothing is static and everything is changing based on users opinions.

Which part of Facebook do you think needs to be improved?
Leave your opinion on its feedback page. It will be reflected soon.


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7 Responses to “Perpetual Beta”

  1. cherizza.almario April 29, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    Totally forgot about Facebook – but it definitely is a good example! With Facebook, I think people generally don’t adapt to the changes at the start…but since it’s such a popular app, no one has the choice but to live with it. I would like to know what kind of research Facebook does to develop these updates/changes.

    • subinkim May 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      Facebook has some staff to monitor how people use it in real time and to find any problem. Moreover, it provides some places such as a message board where users can leave their comments on Facebook. Through these, Facebook get some ideas to improve its services.
      I think the reason why it is very popular is because it strives to know and to reflect users opinions.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  2. MOHAMMED April 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    nice and concise post to explain PB. About Facebook, it is obvious that they do lots of tests before releasing the new version because as a user barely I could see an error occurring.


    • subinkim May 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      I think so. Besides, some of its staff monitor it all day and every day. There’s a lot of hard work involved. Thanks to it, users can use it without any error.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  3. majo0301 May 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I think Facebook needs to be improved in FQA, cuz I couldn’t find the answer that i want and I need, and I think they should leave an email address to allow people send request.

    • subinkim May 10, 2012 at 10:56 am #


      If you think that, suggest your opinion using the feedback page. And I also think the fact that there is no email address can be a problem. So, comment on this as well. Your suggestions can be a good help to improve their services. Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂

      • majo0301 May 11, 2012 at 1:25 am #

        Subin, This is Joanna~ I leave the message before~

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