Facebook Introduces Facebook Viewpoints Market Research App, Paying Users for Participating

It is currently available to people 18 and older in the U.S.

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Facebook introduced another market research application, Facebook Viewpoints, which rewards users for taking part in surveys and research and performing tasks.

Viewpoints is currently available to people 18 and over, Android and iOS, only in the U.S., and product manager Erez Naveh said in a Newsroom post that the social network hopes to expand the app into more countries next year.

Facebook released a similar market research app in June, Android-only Study From Facebook, also paying users for their participation, but the two apps operate differently.

Viewpoint invites its users to join programs, explaining at the time what kinds of information will be collected, how it will be used and how many points participants will receive upon completing that program.

On the other hand, Study From Facebook collects and analyzes information on the apps installed on participants’ phones, time spent using those apps, country, device type, network type and app activity names, in order to help determine features being used within those apps.

Facebook confirmed that the two apps are independent from each other.

Naveh said in the Newsroom post that insights gained via Facebook Viewpoints will be used “to improve products like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Portal and Oculus, and to benefit the broader community.”

Upon joining Facebook Viewpoints, users will be asked for information including name, email address, country of residence, date of birth and gender, with additional data, such as location, potentially required for individual programs.

Naveh stressed that information collected via Viewpoint will not be sold to third parties, and Viewpoints activity will not be shared on Facebook or other linked accounts without permission, adding that users can choose to opt out at any time.

When users are invited to join programs within Viewpoint, they will be told how many points they need in order to receive payments, which will be sent directly to their PayPal accounts.

Facebook said in June that it was working with longtime market research partner Applause on registration, compensation and customer support for Study From Facebook, but a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that Applause is not involved with Viewpoints.

In January, Josh Constine from TechCrunch shared extensive details on Facebook Research, an iOS and Android app that prompted Facebook users between the ages of 13 and 35 to download it and, in the case of the iOS version, to install an Enterprise Developer Certificate and virtual private network.

Doing so gave Facebook root access to all network traffic on the device, and also enabled the social network to avoid Apple’s TestFlight beta-testing system, Constine reported.

Users of the Facebook Research app received up to $20 per month, along with referral fees, to share their data with Facebook.

The iOS version of the app was removed from the iTunes App Store in late January, and Google followed suit the following month, pulling the Android version of the app from the Google Play Store.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.