Some people are going to go crazy with this.
Google is about to launch a new “get paid to surf” program where you can earn some incentives by trading your browsing habits and sending usage statistics to Google. Termed as Google Screenwise, the program will track your usage behavior in Google Chrome through a browser extension (pending official announcement). This is Google’s wild attempt to learn browsing habits of users in mass and create a better online experience for everyone. At least, the landing page at www.google.com/landing/screenwisepanel/ says so.
The monetary compensation is not direct hard cash, as panel members will receive the money via Amazon gift cards. As a panelist, you will get $5 for installing the Screenwise extension and a recurring fee of $5 will be paid every 3 months, provided you keep sending them your Chrome usage data and keep the extension installed.
If $25 sounds too meager, hang on for a year. The landing page has a tiny remark at the bottom which says – “As we continue to develop this research experience, we will evaluate what, if any, changes will be made to gifts amounts for continuing participation beyond 12 months.”
I am curious to know why Google is becoming data hungry day by day. They have Google Chrome, Gmail, Android, YouTube – the best players in each department. Sure this is not enough, as they are willing to pay you for your data, browsing habits and privacy. This is the easiest 25$ a year offer I won’t regret turning down.
If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer but the product being sold. And If you’re getting something for free and managing some cash along with it, you’re what? Probably, Google knows the exact term.