Locket brings ads to Android home screens, pays users for using their phone


Image courtesy Locket

As developers work to increase app discovery through advertising within other applications, a small startup called Locket has released a new advertising platform on Android that skips the system and pays users for simply using their phone, without entering apps and without any extraordinary effort.

Locket places ads on the Android lock screen. Ads may encourage viewers to visit websites, view movie or show trailers, visit Facebook pages, download coupons and other options, but they don’t force users to actually interact with the ad. Depending on the user’s interest in the ad’s material, they can either ignore the ad, unlocking their phone and going directly to their home screen, or they can swipe to interact with the ad and learn more about the product.

According to TechCrunch, users are paid 1 cent per swipe regardless of whether they choose to interact or “click-through” the ad or not. Users are limited to earning just three cents an hour for now, but that price could increase over time as more advertising partners join in.

While the selection of brands within the Locket ad network is small for now, it’s not due to lack of interest. Rather, this is due to Locket’s choice of respecting Android users. Ads from alcohol, lingerie and other “adult” brands have already been rejected, while partnerships with two Fortune 500 companies are now in the works to fill in the selection of ads users may see on a daily (and likely hourly) basis. Locket is now available to download for free on supported Android devices.

“What we’re trying to do is change the perception people have towards ads. On mobile, ads suck right now,” says Locket cofounder Yunha Kim. “But our ads are different because they’re beautiful and they actually reward you for your glances. We hope users will like it.”

Locket isn’t the first company to attempt lock screen advertising. Conduit’s QuickLaunch program, for instance, adds a variety of “hubs” to users’ lock screens, which are linked to a brand’s existing mobile app. QuickLaunch is designed to keep users coming back to a particular app each time they unlock their phone, while Locket’s user-payment program should offer a much more desirable advertising option for heavy mobile users.