Facebook on Monday launched a new market research app called Viewpoints that it says will reward people for participating in surveys, tasks and research. In an official blog post announcing the launch, the company said: “We believe the best way to make products better is to get insights directly from people who use them. We’ll use these insights to improve products like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Portal and Oculus, and to benefit the broader community”.
To join Viewpoints, users will need to provide their name, email address, country of residence, date of birth and gender. Additionally, they may also need to share their exact location to qualify them for individual programs.
Before each program, the company will explain what information will be collected, how it will be used and how many points the user will receive for completing the program. “We’ll let you know how many points you need in order to receive a payment, and every time you reach that amount of points, you’ll receive a payment sent directly to your PayPal account”, said the company. The company also promised to let users know how the information they provide through that program will be used.
The app, however, has drawn skepticism and ridicule from privacy advocates, many of whom claim that it is yet another attempt from Facebook to gather even more data on its users. It’s made worst by all the privacy scandals Facebook went through last year which drove users to delete their Facebook account. To address those concerns, Facebook say that data collected from the app will be used for internal research and won’t be sold to third parties. “We also won’t publicly share your Facebook Viewpoints activity on Facebook or on other accounts you’ve linked without your permission”, said the company.
However, given Facebook’s long-standing disregard for data-related safeguards and a total lack of concern about users’ privacy, it would be interesting to see how many people will be willing to voluntarily sign-up for the new platform. If you’re still willing to give it a shot, it’s available to download on the Play Store or the App Store.