Since both usually occur right before a product’s launch, it’s easy to confuse private and public tests. Still, it’s important to remember that these tests are managed in very different ways and result in varied experiences.
So what makes them so different? What can you expect from each type of test? Which one is the right experience for you? Let’s start with some basics:
Private tests are limited projects designed to gather feedback from a carefully selected user group that matches the product’s target market.
The focus is to find Issues or bugs so that they can be fixed or managed before the product’s launch. This is also a great time to get general impressions from potential customers.
Perhaps the most critical distinction in a private test is a heavy focus on maintaining secrecy about the product and its features, so testers will be asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Public tests will have the product made available to the general public. The purpose of a public trial is to generate awareness and buzz about the product rather than gather actionable feedback from participants.
They involve either a limited version of the product (which can generate interest in the whole or paid version) or a launch-ready version.
In the latter case, the company can still refer to this as a test to make changes while people try out the product. Public trials generally happen after extensive private testing has already occurred.
Who Gets to be a Tester?
Private tests consist of testers hand-selected by the test management team through a considerable qualification process, so not everyone who applies will fit the requirements needed to participate. Public tests generally have little to no technical or demographic requirements to join.
Private tests are also much smaller than public tests: a couple of dozen testers compared to hundreds to thousands of testers. This exclusivity makes private tests more enticing but more challenging to get into.
What’s Expected of Testers?
Private tests are specifically designed to collect feedback from testers through collecting Issues, Ideas, Praise, and other feedback. Testers are expected to participate regularly and thoroughly test the product.
Public tests are typically much more relaxed. The company may not even provide a straightforward way to give feedback on the product. The focus is more on users trying out the product and less on providing detailed feedback about their experiences.
Do I get paid to be a tester?
There is no cash payment to be a tester — all testers are volunteers. Companies cannot expect your feedback to be honest and reliable if you’re being paid to give it, especially since the beta test is to get unbiased and honest feedback.
However, many companies give incentives (products, gift cards, t-shirts, etc.) to testers that provide high-quality, helpful feedback. Some testers claim to get about $15 – $20 worth of incentives per test, while others say they were able to get around $100 worth of incentives for a single test.
If you like testing new beta products and do not mind that you may not be rewarded for your efforts then you can try BETABOUND. Still, if you are thinking of an opportunity that will allow you to make a substantial living, then you may be better off trying something else.
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Thank you for your time, comments, and questions. It is greatly appreciated. Please remember to share this post.
NOTE: This post includes affiliate links, which, if clicked on and a product purchased, I get a small commission (with no increase in cost to you)
Here are some reviews by members of BETABOUND; these reviews were taken from Survey Police.
April 19, 2019, by Erich from the United States
I was surprised to see such negative comments on this site, so I had to create an account just to set the record straight! I have been a member of the Betabound community for a few years now, and I enjoy being a part of such a diverse community of people who can contribute to developing hardware and software. If you are persistent and patient, you will get selected for a beta sooner or later. Imagine how many people use this service, then assume you are not the only person applying for a particular beta test. In addition, Betabound has launched its Ambassador program, which gives frequent testers like myself more ability to help in the community. I love working with you guys and cant wait for future opportunities to participate!
Betabound responded to this review on July 8, 2019
Thank you for the kind words and for understanding our mission! We see a significant influx of applicants for any exciting beta test, and it’s impossible to include every person on the test. Because of this, we’re always looking for new ways to involve our community in testing-related activity.
The Ambassador program is one way for us to expand those opportunities, and we’re glad to hear such positive feedback regarding this program so far.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your comment.
High-Quality Beta Tests
December 14, 2016, by Henk from the United States
This site has very high-quality beta tests, and the more you show them that you can follow through and meet deadlines, the more beta test invites you’ll get. You get paid out in various ways depending on the test, but they always are very gracious and generous with payments.
Betabound responded to this review on October 26, 2018
Thank you so much for the kind words! We’re glad we’ve been able to provide you with the opportunity to test with us. (:
January 3, 2015 by Michelle from the United States
I’ve been with Centercode for about a year and been chosen for two beta tests, both software, and it was fun. When you find bugs, you will get feedback and significant interaction with the Centercode developers, who will answer you no matter your issue or question. I also got paid for both tests, one $140 and the other $100. So if you qualify and do the testing they ask you to do, you will benefit from getting paid.
Betabound responded to this review on October 26, 2018
Thank you for sharing this! As we continue to improve our communication, it’s nice to hear that we’re taking steps in the right direction.