Facebook will now pay you if you give access to your phone’s data


  • Facebook just launched a new program called ‘Study from Facebook’ where the social networking giant will pay users for their data.
  • The Mark Zuckerberg platform promises to not snoop through any personal files and whatever data is collected, will be kept safe and away from any third parties.
  • ‘Study from Facebook’ is currently only an option for users in the US and in India who are above 18 years of age.
Facebook may have once been the top downloaded app on mobile phones but with new players like TikTok entering the market, the social networking seems to want to hedge its bets.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company just launched ‘ Study from Facebook’ for Android smartphone users to see what the competition is up to. Installing the app on a phone and signing up will mean that Facebook will be able to keep tabs on which apps you’re using and what you’re doing while using them.




Essentially, it’s market research to see how Facebook can have an edge over other social networking mobile apps. The company has also restricted the release of the app to two of its biggest markets — India and the US.

Having learnt from its mistakes with Research and Onavo — programs that were paying teenagers to give Facebook data on how they were using their phones — Facebook’s new endeavour has an age limit. It’s only available to users above 18 years of age.

In case of Facebook Research and Onavo Protect, teenagers were paid $20 per month along with referral fees. Compensation for signing up with Study from Facebook has not been disclosed yet.

Access to program is also restricted to being by ‘invite only’. If you want to sign up keep an eye on your Facebook app and an ad might show up asking you to join.

Renewed promises

Facebook is promising that if you’re selected for their ‘Study from Facebook’ program the company isn’t going to collecting any user IDs, passwords or personal photos, videos and messages.

More importantly, the company is promising that it won’t be sharing any of the data that it collects with third parties or to building targeted apps.

Facebook blog

While saying this, Facebook has also disclosed that it will be working on this project with Applause to manage the logistics of the new program. Provided access is limited to logistics it means that Applause will in charge of the registration process, rolling out compensation to the participants and customer support.

The mobile app will, on the other hand, will be looking into what apps a user has installed, how time a user spends on a particular app and app activity names — basically, the kind of the actions you’re performing within an app.

Facebook will also know where a user if from, what phone or device they’re using as well as their network connectivity details.

Once signed up, you can always choose to opt out of the program at any time.

Another Snapchat saga in the making

The last time around that Facebook felt threatened by its competition, it just copied the best parts of the idea and launched it on its own platform. The competition, in this case, was Snapchat.

Facebook also took over WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. It was even fined by the European Union for submitting ‘misleading information’. Before that, it was Instagram for $1 billion.

The social networking giant has ruled over the internet for nearly 15 years now and it’s worried that it’s losing its touch — the repeated privacy scandals don’t help. Using data from Study from Facebook, it’s likely that the company will go down the road of either acquiring or copying any app it feels is a threat to its dominance in the market.

At least this time around Facebook is being transparent will efforts to collect data from users and there’s no non-disclosure agreement in the mix where users can’t talk about their participation in the program.

See also
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