Lately there is a new breed of apps which pays its users instead. Perhaps the competition on getting enough users or data has become so stiff, now they are paying you instead to become their users or to gather public data.
There are three types of application which I have seen here.
1. Apps which actually helps clients in gathering public data.
These kind of apps are actually good apps. In terms of, they help the general public earning a little bit of pocket money while also helping businesses gather public data for their apps. The requested data normally range from shopping data, taking pictures of vacant buildings, etc. An example for this type of application is Check In to Win and GigWalk.
Check In to Win is an official app from WalMart for the iPhone. You will get points by checking in to their stores, scanning certain products. Which in turn you can turn the points into WalMart gift cards.
GigWalk enables you to earn a little pocket money by doing tasks, after it’s done you will be paid to your Paypal account. Sadly it is only available in the US right now.
2. Apps which just wants to collect personal or public data for their purpose.
Some of there apps just wants to gather your data and your friends data for unspecified data. It lures people by giving them points. And example of this type of app is Phewtick. I have no idea what purpose Phewtick is trying to achieve, but it will try to extensively get your data from Facebook, locate you by GPS, and build a relationship data of your friends, you can even track people near you who are using Phewtick. Kind of creepy to think of it.
I cannot imagine what will happen if the data falls into the wrong hand. The strange thing is, some of my friends eagerly installed the app because it promises to give them a few bucks. Reluctantly, I installed it at my Android, just to review the app. From my judgement, it’s kind of creepy.
3. Apps pretending to help you earn a little cash.
But actually has a hidden agenda, as in the type 2 apps. They just want to gather your data. One example which I found is Shopkick. It managed to get a good review at squidoo. But when I checked its website, it claims to be available at Google App Store, when I search the app there, it does not exist. Below is the screen shot of my search.
When I clicked the button “Get it” at their website, I am requested to use Facebook.
This seems fishy, why do they need my Facebook data? Not to mention in Android, an installed app can virtually do anything. Never ever installed an android app from a dubious source.