As the world goes increasingly mobile, what we do on our phones and tablets becomes more and more important, especially to advertisers. They are clamoring all over each other to find out as much about how we use our phones as possible. And the reason for that is simple: there is a ton of money to be made for all involved here.
All involved, except for the people who are actually using the mobile devices themselves, of course. But that will not be true for much longer.
Google is getting ready to debut a new service, one that would actually pay people to allow the company to get more data, and analytics, including about how they are using their devices and apps, it has been confirmed to VatorNews.
'This is part of our Screenwise market research program, which has been around for more than a year," a Google spokesperson said. "The only piece that's new is the app itself, which is replacing an older, more complicated way that panelists participated."
The Screenwise market research program is designed to "help learn more about things like technology usage, how people are consuming media, and how they use Google products."
"These panels are made up of volunteers who have certain activities measured and are compensated for their participation. Prior to participating, all panelists have a clear agreement with Google about what participation in the panels involves," according to Google.
The new app is called "Mobile Meter," and it uses apps on both iOS and Android that "intelligently monitor app usage and web browsing habits," according to Engadget, who first reported this news on Monday.
The program will be voluntary, and will require user consent. It will also remain anonymous to protect the user's privacy.
Since Google already collects information from smartphone data, including location data from GoogleMaps and search, the real question is: which specific app and web metrics the company intends to track with Mobile Meter.
VatorNews reached out to Google to find out but the spokesperson from Google would not comment. Nor would they comment on how much Google is planning on paying those users who do sign up for the privilege of their data.
The speculation over what Google will be looking for is that the company wants to get more insight into the daily habits of its users, and not only when using Google's app.
This kind of data would be especially useful for iOS users; obviously Google and Apple are rivals when it comes to who will be the more dominant mobile platform. This might give Google a leg up, being able to see how users spend their time on Apple devices and then exploiting those weaknesses, and replicating its successes.
(Image source: http://articles.washingtonpost.com)