Facebook Launches New App That Pays Users For Their Data
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
June 12, 2019
If you're the type who doesn't mind sharing some personal information, you could make a few bucks a month by downloading Facebook's new market research app.
According to a blog post posted by Facebook on Tuesday, the company is recruiting Android users to download its new app named "Study" which transmits data to Facebook about what other apps users have on their phones and how much time they spend on them.
"We believe this work is important to help us improve our products for the people who use Facebook," Facebook said in a blog post announcing its new app. "We also know that this kind of research must be clear about what people are signing up for, how their information will be collected and used, and how to opt out of the research at any time."
Users who are 18 and older will be eligible to join Study's data collection "at launch," according to the post from Facebook. The social media giant did not indicate how much users could expect to get paid for using their Study app. Facebook has used similar apps in the past to collect users' data, one such program was called Facebook Research. That program rewarded users between the ages of 13 and 25 a monthly stipend of up to $20 to track everything they were doing. The program was shut down by Facebook and the app removed from the App store after Apple cracked down on Facebook in 2018.
Facebook explained the app and how it would work in their post announcing the new compensation program:
Here’s how it works. We’ll run ads to encourage people to participate in this market research program. When someone clicks on an ad, they’ll have the option to register and, if they qualify, they’ll be invited to download the app. Once invited, they’ll find the Study from Facebook app in the Google Play Store. As they sign up, people will see a description of how the app works and what information they’ll be sharing with us so they can confirm they want to participate. We also notify users on the Study from Facebook website and in the Play Store description about what information we collect and how it will be used. This is all accessible before participants provide any market research information to the app. Anyone who uses the app will be compensated for contributing to the research. Only people who are 18 and older will be eligible to participate at launch, and all participants will be able to opt out at any time.
Among the data being collected by Facebook: Which apps are installed on your phone, how long you use those apps (if at all), the country you're in, and other types of app data that could reveal specific information about the features you're using. Facebook claims the app won't allow them to see any specific content you're viewing and they won't have access to your messages, passwords or websites that you visit.
Facebook says they want to use the Study app to help them approach market research in a more "responsible way."
Photos: Getty Images & Facebook