Facebook’s New Research App, Viewpoints, Rewards Users For Using Their Data

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Facebook has launched a new market research app, Facebook Viewpoints that will reward users for participating in surveys, tasks and research.

According to Facebook the data and insights gotten from the app will be used to make their products like Facebook and Instagram better.

“We’ll use these insights to improve products like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Portal and Oculus, and to benefit the broader community” – Extract from Press statement by Facebook

In the past few years, Facebook has built a history of repeated data breaches, the latest of which was the accidental leak of phone numbers of about 419 million users. These issues raise the question of whether users will be comfortable trusting their data to Facebook.

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However, with Facebook Viewpoints, Facebook is asking people to give their data, buy rewarding them with points which can be converted to cash rewards. The added monetary incentive could outweigh the security concerns some may have.

How Facebook Viewpoint works

To use the app, users have to provide information like name, email address, country of residence, date of birth, and gender. However, the app can pull the information directly from your Facebook account.

After login, the app invites you to programs like surveys which awards a set number of points. The first available program is the well-being survey which takes about 15 minutes and scores users 1000 points.

Once a user reaches 1000 points, Facebook sends $5 via PayPal to the user’s account. However, payments can take up to 10 days to process and points gathered expire after 5 years.

Facebook reassures the safety of user data

To alleviate worries about misuse of the app, Facebook has said that for every program on the platform, information about what the data provided will be used for will be revealed. They added that the data will be used internally and won’t be sold to third parties.

However, viewing Facebook’s history of data breaches, users have to consider how much their data is worth, despite all the assurance Facebook has promised.

Facebook is not the only big tech company to reward users for taking surveys, Google also has its popular opinion rewards app. However, Google has been a better protector of user data than Facebook.

The launch of Facebook Viewpoint comes after, the shut down of its paid market surveillance program research and its free VPN that collects data Onavo.

According to Facebook, Viewpoint is only available to people in the US who have Facebook accounts and will be expanding into more countries next year.

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata

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