Facebook launched a new research app that will pay users for sharing information about how they use apps on their devices. The company claims that this will help them build better products for the Facebook community.
The new app called “Study from Facebook” will collect information about apps installed on a participant’s phone, time spent using those apps, participant’s country, device and network type, and the features the participant is accessing within those apps.
“We believe this work is important to help us improve our products for the people who use Facebook. We also know that this kind of research must be clear about what people are signing up for, how their information will be collected and used, and how to opt out of the research at any time,” Facebook product manager Sagee Ben-Zedeff explained in a company blog post.
How We Collect Information
We have a responsibility to keep people’s information safe and secure. With this app, we’re collecting the minimum amount of information needed to help us build better products. People often have a lot of apps on their phone, so we’ll periodically remind participants that they are a part of the program. They’ll also have the opportunity to review the information they’re sharing with us. Through the program, we collect and analyze information including:
- The apps installed on a participant’s phone
- The amount of time spent using those apps
- Participant’s country, device and network type
- App activity names, which may show us the names of app features participants are using
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.
What info does the Study app collect?
Through the Study app, we collect and analyze participants’ apps usage. This includes info about:
- The apps installed on participants’ phones
- Time participants spend using apps
- Participants’ country, device and network type
- App activity names, which may show us the names of app features a participant is using
How does Facebook use this info?
We gain insights using data from groups of participants for business and product research.
- Info from participants helps us learn which apps people value and how they’re used.
- We’re able to better understand our community to improve Facebook Company Products.
- We don’t collect user IDs, passwords or content people share, including messages.
- We don’t sell data from this app to third parties or use it to target ads to you.
At first, the app will only be available to people in the US and India. We’ll continue to make it better and expand it to other countries over time.
Approaching market research in a responsible way is really important. Transparency and handling people’s information responsibly have guided how we’ve built Study from Facebook. We plan to take this same approach going forward with other market research projects that help us understand how people use different products and services.