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Optus Xtra wants to pay you in data for watching ads

A new app for Android users is giving Optus customers the chance to score up to 1GB of extra data by having ads displayed on their lock screens.

Screenshot by Luke Lancaster/CNET

Is that a billboard in your pocket or are you just happy about increased data limits?

Yes, the data crunch is real. Between autoplaying videos and constantly refreshing your Instagram feed, it's all too easy to blow past your data allowances. But a new Android app from Optus called Optus Xtra wants to deliver ads in exchange for extra data every month.

The new app, made in partnership with New Zealand-based start-up Postr, will display static ads on your phone's lock screen that can link out to the advertiser's website or a video. The ads are all opt in, and you can pick from eight categories -- beauty, employment, fashion, government and politics, health, money, technology and travel -- to tailor your experience.

Optus Xtra is all or nothing. You won't need to click on any ads for the bonus data, but you will need the app to be active for a 28-day period. Thankfully, there's a handy countdown to that sweet, sweet data in the app itself. It's worth noting that the ads themselves might use up some of your data, especially clicking through to video ads, but "ads that customers view on their phone lock screen without tapping on the ad may use a small amount of data (less than 20MB per month)," said an Optus spokesperson.

Megan Forster, Director of Product Innovation and Value Added Products at Optus said, "Our prepaid customers have told us they want to boost their data, but are also budget conscious. By giving customers the option to earn extra data through watching ads, Optus is enabling them to enjoy more of what they love, without spending an extra cent."

Customers on My Prepaid Ultimate, My Prepaid Ultra Plus and My Prepaid Ultra can score the extra 1GB of data, while My Prepaid Daily Plus and $2 Days 4G Ready customers are eligible to earn $2 extra credit every 28 days.

Optus has previously taken your data woes to heart, offering unmetered streaming of Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify.

If you're on Android, you can pick up Optus Xtra from the Play store now. Would you watch ads for extra data allowance? Let us know in the comments below.