Facebook's new Study app pays to track what you do on your phone

Better than giving it to them for free?

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez

Facebook has a new app that'll pay users for data on how they use phone apps.

Study From Facebook is the social media company's way to learn how people use mobile apps . According to its page, participants will be paid for agreeing to share their app-usage data such as what apps are installed on the phone, how much time the user spends using those apps and what devices are being used.

Not anyone can participate in Study. Facebook will run ads about Study on its platform and elsewhere. Those who click on the ad will provide details about themselves that'll determine if they're selected. A Facebook account isn't required. If selected, individuals will receive an invite to download the app, which won't work without that invite. The company is working with Applause, which is handling some of the logistics of the program.

No specifics were given on how much those chosen would receive as compensation for their info.

As for why Facebook wants this data, the company says it'll use the info to improve its products. The social media platform also said it won't collect user IDs, passwords or other shareable content like messages.

Back in January, Facebook shut down its Facebook Research app, which since 2016 had been paying $20 a month to people sharing their usage data with the company. Facebook pulled another app, Onavo, from app stores in February after it violated Apple's privacy guidelines.

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