Alternatives to using Google+ Communities for testing
Google+ testing Communities will no longer be supported by Google Play testing tracks once Google+ shuts down in April 2019. Here are some alternatives to consider using instead:
Important: If you don’t set up an alternative to the Google+ Communities that you’re using for testing before Google+ shuts down, testers who are only in those Google+ communities may lose eligibility.Option 1: Move to an open test
If your community was open to join and you aren't already running an open test, you can consider setting up an open test to replace your open Google+ Community. Any user can opt in to a test from the Google Play website or the Google Play app.
If you already have a separate open testing program, you’ll need to use one of the other options.
Tip: If you want to limit the number of people that join your open test, you can set a cap on the number of testers.
You can switch from managing testers using Google+ Communities to managing testers using Google Groups.
To make the switch, you should create new Google Groups for your tester Communities, add these groups to your testing tracks and invite your testers to join your newly created groups.
You can also use email lists to manage testers. To use email lists, you need to collect tester email addresses and configure your testing tracks based on these email addresses.
Note: Testers should provide you with the email address that they use on Google Play.
Contacting your testers
If you want to contact testers in your Communities, here’s how you can contact them:
- Post messages to the Google+ Communities before Google+ is shut down.
- Include instructions inside your app.
Need more time?
If you need more time to convert or migrate your users to another testing alternative, you must make a request by 31 March 2019 to temporarily extend your Google+ Community members’ eligibility for testing tracks. This extension will expire on 31 August 2019.
During the extension period, you can’t modify the membership of this testing group. To submit the request, ask your account owner to contact support. In your account owner's request, make sure that it includes that you need a Google+ Community members extension.
Remember that once Google+ shuts down in April 2019, you won’t be able to contact or manage testers using Google+.