Beta testing - a note about its purpose!

Hello everyone!

After reading through some of the feedback on the beta testing thread, we thought it might be worth explaining what a beta test is, especially for those who might be new to the concept!

A beta test is essentially a trial phase for a feature before it officially launches. During this stage, the feature is made available to a group of users, in this case, THS members. These testers are typically volunteers who have expressed interest in trying out a feature before it’s released to the general public.

It’s important to remember the following when you sign up for beta testing:

  • You may not have access to all aspects of a new feature immediately

  • Providing detailed feedback via the feedback form is super important

  • The product you’re seeing may change or have extra features added over the testing period

  • The product will have already gone through a period of alpha testing i.e. the team will have thoroughly tested the product before making it available for beta testing

  • What you see during the beta test will not be perfect, that’s the reason we want your input, so that we can take your feedback on board! We need to understand what you feel is missing, as not sharing that feedback could result in it not being included as part of the feature, or being removed from the feature

  • Participation in beta testing isn’t mandatory, it’s voluntary, and there will always be the option to opt out

The opportunity to be a beta tester was shared with the Community to empower our members to give feedback and work directly with our Product team to make changes to forthcoming features. Beta testing feedback is really valuable to the Product team as it’s a chance for another set of fresh eyes to review and maybe identify bugs, glitches, or usability.

Allowing members like you to have hands-on experience with upcoming features allows the team to iron out any kinks and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the product is as polished and user-friendly as possible by the time it’s ready for its official launch.

It’s important to note that it’s a collaborative process that relies on the active participation and input of the THS community.

If you ever come across an opportunity to participate in a beta test for a product you’re interested in, we’d encourage you to give it a try!

Not only do you get early access to cool new stuff, but you also have the chance to make a meaningful contribution to ongoing improvements.

Thanks for reading!



Thanks @Jenny

You have stated that it is important to remember the following etc.
May I respectfully advise that we were never advised that it was a Beta test therefore we cannot remember what we didn’t know when we signed up.

This is what was advised at the initial stage:

They would like to give 50 Sitters and 50 Pet parents the opportunity to sign up for early access to our new Messaging and Application flow in mid-January.

This is still under development, so a few things will still be being added, but the core features and functionality will be available for you to use and try out.

You now advise that the team will have thoroughly tested the produce before making it available for beta testing. I dispute that as some of the anomalies are so apparent that I cannot see that they have been thoroughly tested.

I have now asked twice to be removed from the test, using the link provided, without any action.
Please can you follow this up for me please

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Hi @Itchyfeet

We hadn’t progressed your request to leave the beta testing as you’d confirmed on thread that you were going to continue, apologies if we’ve misunderstood, or if you’ve since made another request to leave the beta testing.

I’ve sent your details over to the team again and asked if they can please make sure that you’re removed from the beta testing.

I can see that the original post asking for participants didn’t refer to beta testing by name, and I can understand that it might have been clearer if we’d referred to the initiative as beta testing from the beginning. I can see that we did start referring to it as beta testing when we posted an update when it started.

It’s the first time that we’ve done something like this (at least since I joined the team, I can’t speak for before that!) so the team is learning and if it’s helpful to refer to any future opportunities as beta testing from the outset then we’re happy to do so.

As I’m not part of the Product team I can’t speak in any more detail about what they do or don’t test before making the beta testing available, but I can certainly pass the feedback along that you felt that there were issues that they should have picked up before the beta.


Thanks Jenny
To clarify, I requested to leave very early on but, as nothing had been done, I did say that I would carry on.
As I feel that I have provided sufficient feedback through the system on 5 occasions, and I miss the old Inbox, I did request to leave again a few days ago.
Thank you for chasing this up for me now

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I’m going to pop you a quick DM about opting out - just want to clarify some info!

Thanks for your prompt assistance.

I now have my old Inbox back. I know that we should embrace change but having this back is as comforting as cuddling a labrador


Perhaps missed it? Suggestion Box for changes when the THS platform is in Beta?

Here is mine:
In their Profile Sitters can show their dates available but not the when/where.
Yes, sitters can post where there would like to sit, but it is not date-sensitive. A sitter may want to sit in the USA, Peru, Germany - but NOT in the same season!
It would be useful if the Profile Availability Calendar also showed where a sitter is available for the dates they have listed.

Why not a cell next to the dates which sitters could populate with a location, like this:

Mar 20 - Jun 20, 2024 U.K. & E.U.
Jun 21 - Sep 21, 2024 Canada & U.S.A.
Dec 10 - Dec 31, 2024 Western U.S.A.

This would be very helpful for both HOs and Sitters.
Many Home Owners don’t like putting up a general post: prefer seeking out a Sitter whose Profile they like and inviting them to sit (we’ve had half a dozen such in the last year.)

Many Sitters who live in one area (e.g. Seattle) but know they’ll be in another area (e.g. U.K.) would like to “advertise” that they will be available there in a certain time period.


2nd recommendation for Beta program addition:

Many members are concerned about the rise in bot &/or “ghost” applications since the 5-&-Done rule came into existence.

I’m one who’s been frustrated by seeing a posting come up that would be perfect for us, but within minutes, it’s “reviewing applicants”!
NO doubt some sitters are using BOTs, some are simply “applying” without a note, reading it later to decide if they really want it.

Wonder why THS hasn’t added

(1) a captcha (program that protects websites against bots) to applications? This is so standard on so many sites now. A human can see a field they must respond to before continuing. A bot cannot do that automatically.

(2) minimum number of characters (100?) for an application?
Can’t imagine a meaningful application <100 characters. Only once an application hits 100 characters would the Apply button be “live.”

Those two steps should stop the “ghost” and/or “bot” applications!

50, 100, or even 1000 words, doesn’t make any difference, as any length of “ready to go” text can be included in targeted request.

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Or text generated on the fly by ChatGPT.

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The minimum character idea is to prevent ghost or blank applications which are now becoming common & frustrating home owners.

Hello @ASASG Sorry if you missed it, but for now the Beta testing is just for the inbox. Check out this thread. Once the team releases Beta testing for other features we will let you know and you can opt to take part!

We also have the suggestions thread What Features Would You Like to See on THS? for general suggestions/feedback.

In the meantime, your suggestions about the applications and inbox are helpful for the current testing and have been passed on to the team. Thank you.

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