In India, Facebook unveils new paid research program to track competitors, startups

The interface for Facebook's new app Study which pays users who let their phone be tracked is seen in images released by the company

The interface for Facebook's new app Study which pays users who let their phone be tracked is seen in images released by the company

Having learnt from its mistakes with Research and Onavo - programs that were paying teenagers to give Facebook data on how they were using their phones - Facebook's new endeavour has an age limit. "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". This includes apps installed and the amount of time spent on them, country, device and network type of the user.

Facebook said Study would not collect user IDs, passwords, or content, including photos, videos, or messages. Facebook has said that it will offer complete transparency on how it collects data via the app and what kind of data it collects. The description mentions that "Transparency" is a major part of the project.

We'll run ads to encourage people to participate in this market research program. Once identified, it will most likely copy those features and integrate them into its platform as it did before with Snapchat's stories.

"Study from Facebook" is a bold attempt by Facebook amidst the looming antitrust case.

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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.

Study participants can opt out of the app at any time, but the company will keep any information it has already collected. Facebook shut down the app for iOS users in January and then later did the same to the Android version.

The social media giant is introducing a new scheme - available only to subscribers in the United States and India - which will pay specific users for sharing their internet habits. This is all accessible before participants provide any market research information to the app.

"We believe this work is important to help us improve our products for the people who use Facebook", Facebook said in a post announcing the launch of Study. However, the post does not mention how much a user will be paid for sharing his phone's information, which Facebook promises will not be given out to any outside company, or third-party developers. The app will be used to help the company conduct market research and all participants will be paid.

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