Have you ever wished you could get rewards for simply surfing the internet? Well, it’s possible and it’s backed by Google, so you know it’s legit.
In 2022, Google launched a program called the “Online Insights Study.” The cool part is, you just do what you usually do on the internet, and you can earn points which turn into gift cards. Google states that you can earn up to $130 a year just for being online.
To put it simply, you will use your phone as you can and allow Google to track you for rewards.
In today’s review, let’s take a look at what the program is all about and if it’s worth your time.
How Does Google Online Insights Work
To join, you simply add your phone by downloading the specialized software/app.
You can enroll any Android mobile device or desktop, and the more devices you add, the more you can earn. I will get into this shortly. For now, it appears you can only link up to two devices. This could change, though.
You’re free to use any device or browser you want – whether it’s Chrome on your laptop or your phone. Google is curious about the ads you see and where you hang out online. But don’t worry, this isn’t for showing you more ads or sharing with advertisers. They just want to make the online ad world better, and they’re putting your privacy first.
As you explore the web, the program notes the ads you come across and what websites you visit. Your web activity then gets grouped with other people in a privacy-friendly way.
Every week, you will earn points, and when you’re ready, you can trade them in for gift cards.
If you want a break, the nice thing is that you can stop the study from collecting data anytime. All you need to do is open the app, as you can see in the screenshot below, and turn data collection off. If you’re very uncomfortable, then you can delete the app in its entirety.
And, if you’re curious about the data they’ve collected on you, the study combines your data with others and won’t use it to give you targeted ads. No third-party folks outside Google will see your personal information, so it appears they won’t use it for personalized tracking.
How Much Can I Earn?
As I write this in 2023, joining the program adds points to your account worth more than $10, but I have seen reports that it has been as high as $50. Then if you were to add your phone, you can earn $1.50 every week. How much you get in the beginning will depend on the targeted demographic.
As you add more devices, you can get an extra $1 each week for each one. And, as noted, you can only add two phones, so you will max out at $2.50 per week. $1.50 for the first and $1 for the second. This can change at any time, however.
Every 100 points you get is worth $1.
You don’t get actual cash, unfortunately.
Instead, you can pick a gift card from well-known stores like Amazon, Best Buy, CVS, Chipotle, and several others. However, if you’re hoping for a more flexible prepaid Visa card to use elsewhere, you’re out of luck. The reward system limits you to only a select few retailers.
Who Can Join?
If you’re in the U.S. and 18 or older, you’re good to go.
The only problem is that if you’re interested, you need an invite code at the moment if you want to join. If you’re lucky enough to get one, you get to earn a $10 signup bonus.
For those who are interested in an invite code, it appears you will have to wait for an invite code to show up in your mailbox. There’s no other way to get one as it seems to be targeted.
- Easy signup process
- Many received monetary compensation quickly after signing up
- Some expressed an indifference about being tracked, noting that many apps already collect data. Some also mentioned transparency as they can see the collected data
- No advertisements in the app or on its website
- Google’s support team often responds to address and clarifies issues
- Some users have mentioned making decent money in a short period
- Incentives for installing more than one device
- Some have faced issues with device registration, with conflicting messages about enrollment status
- Multiple users mentioned not getting timely responses from Google’s support team after reaching out
- Some users faced errors, like a “500 error” during sign up, problems with gift card redemptions, or discrepancies in the reward amount credited
- Several reported challenges in setting up the app and linking their devices, with confusing messages about cookies and other configurations
- The app did not provide options for all browsers during the setup
- Some users found the app’s interface and process confusing, and some were unclear about how to join the program
If you don’t mind having Google track your usage while you use your phone, then it’s something to consider. You won’t get rich, but you can make about $2.50~ per week, maybe $10 per month or so doing nothing but letting Google track your phone. If you like the sounds of that, then sure, it’s something worth considering. Just remember that you do need an invite code to join, and this is at random. You can’t ask for one nor can you get one. You just have to wait for one to arrive in your mailbox. If you do get one and you’re reading this, then I hope this review clarifies what the program is about.
That’s going to do it for now.
As always, if you want to comment on your experience, feel free to do so below.
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