Instagram now has both a beta and alpha channel for its official Android application for more adventurous users who want to try out and provide feedback on its latest upcoming features. It bears mention that, as those are beta and alpha features still undergoing testing, there will be bugs and glitches for users that choose to switch over to those channels. There's also no guarantee that everybody who wants to sign up will be permitted to and there are likely to be a limited number of spots open for testers. As with other test app channels, users can, of course, leave at will.
For those who aren't deterred by those caveats, getting started is easy enough and can be accomplished by two methods, though both require a Google Login with the account associated with the device through which a user intends to access the features - or, more plainly, the account associated with the device the user has Instagram downloaded to. The first method applies to the beta program and can be accessed via a click-through on the source link below and then a click on the "get access" button at the bottom of the listing. Users will need to log in using their Google account, as mentioned above, and then click to "opt-in" along the bottom of the page, before following any further instructions. Meanwhile, the alpha program can also be found through the source link, through a link to the program's Google Groups site. Again, users will want to be logged in, as outlined above. A simple click on the "Join" button, will get the process started. The link to that Google Groups site has also been included in a button below.
Joining, meanwhile, will also not require users to download new applications if they already have Instagram installed. The app should automatically update as required if a user already has auto-updates enabled, though it can take some time for the new user status to update in the system's servers and for the update to download. Those who don't have auto-updates enabled will need to manually update their app via the play store. Unfortunately, there aren't specifically any new features outlined, likely because the company wants to keep unreleased features under wraps until they are reveal. So there's no real way of knowing exactly what participants in the program will gain early access to. However, the test features will almost certainly be tied in with the application's core functions.