A new marketing research program called Study from Facebook has been rolled out by Facebook that involves users downloading an app to collect data from their phone. According to the company, the information it collects will go toward product development initiatives.
“Market research helps companies build better products for people. We believe this work is important to help us improve our products for the people who use Facebook,” wrote Facebook product manager Sagee Ben-Zedeff.
Facebook removed its Research app from the iOS app store in January after the company was accused of paying teenagers for access to their mobile activity via a VPN app that allow Facebook to have almost unlimited access t to user data and phone activity.
the program is being promoted by running ads asking people to participate, and if somebody clicks on an ad, they’ll be prompted to register, and if they qualify, they will be asked to download the Study with Facebook app from the Google Play Store.
Participants must be 18 years old, and currently it is only available to people in the U.S. and India.
Users are being compensated for participating in the market research program, although Facebook didn’t give any details on how much money users would earn. The previous research program would pay users $20 a month to have the app installed on their phone.
Once installed, the app collects and analyzes the information:
- The apps a user has installed on their phone.
- How much time a user spends on each app.
- App activity names and the app features users are taking advantage of.
- The user’s country, device and network type.
According to Facebook, the company isn’t collecting user IDs, passwords or content like photos, videos or messaging. Facebook said it won’t sell any information it collects via the app to third parties or use it to target ads. The data collected isn’t going to be added to the person’s Facebook account information if they are a Facebook user.