Facebook on Monday introduced a “Viewpoints” app in the US that pays members of the social network for taking part in surveys. The new market research app will be used to improve the Facebook “family” of offerings including Instagram, WhatsApp, Portal, Oculus, and the core online social network, according to product manager Erez Naveh. The app could blunt criticism that Facebook keeps to itself profits made by taking advantage of data shared on the social network.
“We believe the best way to make products better is to get insights directly from people who use them,” Naveh said in an online post.
Points can be accumulated to earn payments, which will be sent to people via PayPal.
People who set up accounts in the Viewpoints app will be invited to take part in programs, the first a well-being survey intended to gather insights that can be used to curb negative effects of social media and enhance its benefits, according to Naveh.
Personal information such as name, age, gender, and country of residence will be gathered while setting up Viewpoints accounts, which are only open to people 18 years of age or older.
“We won’t sell your information from this app to third parties,” Naveh said.
“We also won’t publicly share your Facebook Viewpoints activity on Facebook or on other accounts you’ve linked without your permission.”
Viewpoints is only available to US Facebook members, but the California-based Internet giant planned to expand it to more countries next year.