Facebook launches new market research app after pulling similar app in January

Daniel Fowler
June 13, 2019

The mobile app will, on the other hand, will be looking into what apps a user has installed, how time a user spends on a particular app and app activity names - basically, the kind of the actions you're performing within an app.

Facebook Study is a new app from the company, announced in a post in its newsroom, that tracks every single thing you do on your phone, and then pays you for it.

Study comes after Apple cracked down on Facebook in June 2018 and again in January 2019 for similar apps that paid users as young as 13 for extensive data on their phone usage.

We've learned that what people expect when they sign up to participate in market research has changed, and we've built this app to match those expectations. Participants will be paid and the app is now available only in India and US. This isn't an app that you can download from the Google Play Store at any time. Last year, a slew of documents released by the United Kingdom parliament revealed that Facebook used its now-defunct VPN app, Onavo, to track competitors through data it collected from users. Only people who are 18 and older will be eligible to participate at launch, and all participants will be able to opt out at any time.

In contrast to the previous app, Study will only be available to people 18 and up.

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What information is Facebook collecting?

In retaliation, Apple temporarily suspended all of Facebook's internal apps, including those that employees use to schedule meetings and look up shuttle schedules, essentially bringing numerous company's processes to a halt.

Though the Study app will not be integrated into Facebook's user accounts, it will get access to users' Facebook information like their age, gender, and how they use Facebook products. Facebook is working to appear more transparent about its quests for user data with Study, though the service is not offered through Apple, which bans the collection of "information about which other apps are installed on a user's device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing".

Why we should care. Facebook's mismanagement of user data has been a thorny issue for marketers. Advertisers have reaped the benefits of the company's ad targeting capabilities, but marketers want safe platforms - and channels - where their messaging can be heard without the risk of people's data being misused, or worse, stolen.

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