Facebook unveils 'Study' market research app, says they'll compensate participants


Facebook said the app won't collect user IDs, passwords, photos, videos, or messages. Study will report back to Facebook about the apps that users have on their phones; how much time they spend on those apps; what they do on them, the country they live in, and the type of device they use. In some cases, the app reportedly targeted users as young as 13-years old. But both were shut down after drawing criticism for infringing on privacy and violating Apple's App Store guidelines.

Facebook said the app will not be used to serve people ads, and information will not be shared with third-party companies - a line the company has been walking carefully since its Cambridge Analytica scandal past year that exposed the data of millions of Facebook users to an outside political research firm.

Previously, when the Research app was still a thing, Facebook said that the program will still continue on Android despite being discontinued on iOS. The company plans to try to make it available more broadly in the future. You'll need to register for the program, after which Facebook will send you a link to its app on Google Play if you're selected to participate.

Anyone in the US or India who are 18 or older can sign up for the new Study app.

The company's product manager, Sagee Ben-Zedeff, assured users that Facebook won't sell any of the data to third parties, or use it for ad targeting. Facebook is not saying how much it will pay participants to share their information. Today, the company introduced its Study app, the objective of which is to - you guessed it - "study" users, in exchange for those users getting paid. It will launch only in the USA and India initially, and you have to be targeted by Facebook to take part.

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. Facebook already has a step up when setting up such market research, Cottrell said - not many other companies could release a similar service and get as many participants as Facebook is bound to. Facebook will choose adults via ads on its platform for the app to gather data from them in exchange for a monthly payment. It also may collect user information that Facebook has obtained from third-party sources.