In brief: As part of its market research efforts, Facebook has announced a new Study for Facebook app that will compensate its participants in exchange for information about their apps' usage. Understandably, Facebook wants to make it clear about what data it will collect and analyze from users, and that it won't be selling it to third-parties or use it to target ads.
If anyone still doesn't know, Facebook is interested in how people use apps on their devices. While the terms surveillance and Facebook have often been used together in the past, stirring all sorts of controversies, the company has launched a new program called Study from Facebook that's slightly different from Facebook Research, discovered a few months ago.
This new program doesn't target teens or pay participants in gifts cards; instead, users have to be 18 and above, with a PayPal account to get paid. Study for Facebook will send out ads to people residing in US and India from where they can sign up for the program. Not everyone can sign up and using Facebook isn't a requirement either.
Facebook has partnered with Applause for this market research program. The latter is a long-time partner of the company and will be managing the registration process, participant payments and customer support.
With a program like this, especially coming from Facebook, the company realizes the privacy concerns that come with it and has addressed them on its news page.
"Study from Facebook does not collect user IDs, passwords, or any of the participant’s content, such as photos, videos, or messages. We also don’t sell information from the app to third parties or use it to target ads, and it is not added to a participant’s Facebook account if they have one."
There's no word yet on the criteria for targeting users or how much they will be paid for participating. Also, the Study app is only coming to Android for now and can be downloaded by anyone from the Play Store but only users approved by Applause can log in and use it.