“Perpetual Beta”

This week the topic focuses on “Perpetual Beta” in web 2.0 pattern. The software or applications that we used was installed already and always be the correct beta; however, in web 2.0 environment the beta updates regularly, it means that there is not correct version for applications in web 2.0, it constantly upgrade it with new functionalities and connect the services with customers all the time. According to Tim O’ Reilly, he indicated that engage users as real-time testers, and instrument the service so that providers know how people use the new features. Therefore, Facebook is one the best example that I would like to introduce in this web 2.0 pattern.

Facebook is a well-known social service for everyone, it provides users to create their personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Firstly, Facebook was only to upload albums and photos on personal pages, and then in 2007 it allows users to post attachments to the wall. Moreover, in 2008, Facebook released a Comet-based instant messaging application called “Chat” to several networks, which allows users to communicate with friends and is similar in functionality to desktop-based instant messengers. As a result, Facebook has forcing to upgrading the functionalities for users in order to supply more tools to serve customers.

In addition, same year in July 2008, Facebook introduced “Facebook Beta”, a significant redesign of its user interface on selected networks. The Mini-Feed and Wall were consolidated, profiles were separated into tabbed sections, and an effort was made to create a “cleaner” look. After initially giving users a choice to switch, Facebook began migrating all users to the new version starting in September 2008. On December 2008, it was announced that Facebook was testing a simpler signup process. However, in the year 2011 and 2012 new feature of Facebook has come out named as ‘Facebook Timeline’, which is a new page interface on Facebook. Timeline is a way of displaying a list of events in chronological order, sometimes described as a project artefact. It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labeled with dates alongside itself and (usually) events labeled on points where they would have happened.

Finally, Facebook constantly provide new version and update any functions based on users’ feedback. The feedback from users can assist to improve their services, and built up the good foundation from users experiences. Facebook never has the correct version; it continues every year or even every month to upgrading the functionalities in order to provide the better quality for users.


Wikipedia. “Perpetual beta”. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

O’reilly. “What Is Web 2.0”. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

Wikipedia. “Facebook”. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

Wikipedia. “Facebook of Timeline”. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

Wikipedia. “Timeline”. Retrieved May 2, 2012.

21stcenturylibrary. “Perpetual Beta – The Real 21st Century Library Model?”. Retrieved May 2, 2012.


4 thoughts on ““Perpetual Beta”

  1. Thanks for introducing me the technology behind Facebook. When I first used Facebook in 2007 I just got a few friends and it was definitely not as user-friendly as the current version. I had never thought that Facebook would be as popular as it now is. This is probably due to their continuous and prompt improvement thanks to Web 2.0 technology.

  2. With online services such as Facebook, they could almost be always in beta, because there have been times when I have been using Facebook and very small changes have been made, and I hardly noticed them until I look into it more deeply. Facebook does link with the Pattern of Perpectual beta very well in that it Facebook is an ongoing service, it engages users through real time so that Feedback can be given as soon as possible, and that Facebook is always a service which is always one.

    Once you’ve got a moment, please come check out my blog which talks about perpectual beta through SIRI at http://akklam2011.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/siri-perpetual-beta-personal-assistant/

  3. Facebook is obviously the most popular website in the world. And also, Facebook can provide some services to users. We can sharing the information and click what we want to know people then add some firends. It can extend our social cycle.

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