Voice recordings are a sensitive subject in tech at the moment – as has been somewhat unsurprisingly uncovered in recent years, the ethics of how users’ recordings are used haven’t exactly been stellar up until now.
A range of companies are in the process of revamping or relaunching how they handle user data like recordings, and the likes of Apple and Google have paused systems that were working on auto-transcription from users’ voice clips. Facebook, too, paused its practises in terms of automatically using voice data, but is now starting up a new approach – paying people for their voice recordings.
Facebook has had a market research app called Viewpoints for a few months now, which lets users fill out surveys to earn points that can eventually be converted to cash (it’s not exactly lucrative, sadly). Now, it plans to expand the app to cover what it’s calling “Pronunciations”, which will get you to make short recordings for it to analyse.
You’ll be asked to say “Hey Portal” followed by the first name of someone from your list of Facebook friends, to help Facebook clarify how that name is pronounced. You’ll say the phrase twice, before doing the same for another nine people, bringing you up to 10. That’ll earn you 200 points on the platform.
However, in order to cash out you need a minimum of 1000 points, which will turn into $5 (about £3.87). You may be invited to run the Pronunciations process up to 5 times, which would get you to that minimum but take you no further, meaning that $5 is the maximum you can hope to earn from it.
Facebook is also, naturally, being clear that the clips recorded for Pronunciations will not be connected to your own profile, and won’t be shared without permission. The program will be open to users in the US with at least 75 friends on the network, and won’t be widely available straight away, so don’t be shocked if that $5 payday doesn’t instantly appear as an option for you.