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Facebook's new app pays you real money to share your views


Facebook has dropped a new app today in both the App Store and Google Play Store. Called Facebook Viewpoints, the app will reward users for helping the company change the face of technology. But be warned, you will have to give up some basic information like your name, email address and Facebook log-in info; if you're already concerned that the company knows more about you than your significant other, this might not be something you will want to participate in.

Once you set up an account, you'll be asked to join certain programs; before each program begins, Facebook will explain what information it is collecting, how the info will be used, and how many points it is worth. Taking the 83-question 15-minute Well-Being Survey is the Holy Grail of Viewpoints since it will ring up 1,000 points for the member. And for every 1,000 points you accumulate, Facebook will send you $5 via your PayPal account. The firm does say that the information provided by Viewpoints members will be used to influence leading apps and services (Read WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook).

You won't get rich answering questions on Facebook Viewpoints

Facebook said in a blog post that "Today, we’re introducing Facebook Viewpoints, a new market research app that rewards people for participating in surveys, tasks, and research. We believe the best way to make products better is to get insights directly from people who use them. We’ll use these insights to improve products like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Portal and Oculus, and to benefit the broader community."

In other words, you are not going to get rich as a professional Viewpoints member. These payments can take up to 10 days to process, and you have a year to redeem the points before they expire. Facebook says that it won't post or share any answers you provide through the app. What the company doesn't say is more important than what it does. Nowhere is it written that Facebook won't use the information internally to create a psychological profile of each Viewpoint user and share that information. Remember, this is what Cambridge Analytical did with raw profile data it obtained of 87 million Facebook members from Russian-American professor Aleksandr Kogan. That move cost Facebook a $5 billion fine.

Meanwhile, if you don't mind answering questions about places you've visited and YouTube videos you've watched, the Google Opinion Rewards app will give Android users Google Play Store credit, and iOS users real cash (10 cents to 50 cents per survey). Once you hit $2.00 in credit, the money is deposited into your PayPal account. If you're an Android user, the Play Store credits add up quickly and come in handy when you want to buy a book, rent or purchase a movie, buy a game or make an in-app purchase. If you respond to every survey over a couple of months, you could find yourself with $15-$20 to spend in the Google Play Store. Now, we should point out that many will tell you that when it comes to collecting personal data, Google is just as bad or even worse than Facebook. Judging by the questions that Google has you respond to, there is no doubt that the data Google is collecting in the Opinion Rewards app is being used to improve certain services. That app is also listed in the App Store and the Google Play Store.

Returning to Facebook Viewpoints, you must be 18 or older to participate and each program has its own eligibility requirements. Right now the app is available only in the U.S., but if you live in another country, there is no need to pout; Facebook says that it planning on offering the app in other countries.

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