Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will “pay” Android users for survey answers regarding their buying habits and product usage, with a new app called “Opinion Rewards.” The payment will come in the form of Google Play credits, good towards apps and in-app purchases in the Google Play store, as well as downloadable media such as music, books and films.
The Opinion Rewards app for Android is available on the Google Play store for U.S. residents only. It requires users to provide information about their gender, zip code, whether they live in an urban, suburban or rural living area, and optional information regarding their age group.
With Opinion Rewards, Google will ask users “at most, 10 questions” regarding their purchasing and consumer product usage habits. This marks the first time Google has shifted to paying users for data regarding their habits, from its frequent policy of offering a “free” product in lieu of a premium service.
Android users must have or create a Google Wallet account to associate with Opinion Rewards, so that Google Play credits can be placed into their account following the completion of a survey. Users will receive push notifications on their Android devices when Google is offering a new Opinion Rewards survey.
Google tells users it will “user responses… to send you relevant surveys from researchers”, but says responses “will not be connected to your Google profile.” Some users have voiced concern about privacy in Google Play reviews of Opinion Rewards, adding to the mountain of data the Mountain View, Cal.-based company has on its users.
Some Android praised Opinion Rewards for offering free credit, while others complained that the interface was confusing and lacked a proper tablet layout. The app has divided Android users, with most either choosing a one-star or five-star review, with an average so far of 3.7 stars on Google Play.
The first survey made available on Opinion Rewards does not provide Google Play credit for its completion, but Google says it confirms what future surveys users will be eligible for. Opinion Rewards works with Android version 2.2 up to Android 4.4 KitKat, and has less than 5,000 installs at the time of this writing, according to Google Play.