Facebook will now pay you for your voice recordings

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook will offer to pay some users for voice recordings that will be used to help improve its speech recognition technology, the company announced Thursday. The move comes after Facebook — as well as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft — was caught listening to and transcribing voice recordings to improve speech recognition systems without informing customers it was doing so.

Facebook will let you make voice recordings as part of a new program called “Pronunciations” in its Viewpoints market research app. If you qualify to be part of the program, Facebook says you’ll be able to record the phrase “Hey Portal” followed by the first name of a friend from your friends list. You’ll be able to do this with the names of up to 10 friends, and you have to record each statement twice.

Facebook won’t be paying much for your recordings, though. If you complete one set of recordings, you get 200 points in the Viewpoints app — and you can’t cash out in the Viewpoints app until you earn at least 1,000 points. That only translates to a $5 reward via PayPal. However, Facebook says users may be offered the opportunity to make up to five sets of recordings, so there is the potential to meet that 1,000-point goal and get paid.

Facebook says the voice recordings users provide will not be connected to their Facebook profile and that the company doesn’t share Viewpoints activity on Facebook or other Facebook-owned services without permission.

The Pronunciations program will be available to US users over the age of 18 that have more than 75 Facebook friends. Facebook says it will be rolling the program out slowly, so it won’t be available to all users right away. If it’s made available to you, you won’t need to update the Viewpoints app to see it pop up, the company says.

Comments

I am still certain one of these apps is listening 24/7 for keywords to tag to a ad library. Too many times have I spoke about bora bora but not searched it for it to show up as an ad.

I know they said they don’t but…

That seems hard to pull off for a company like Facebook, whose apps are heavily scrutinized by everyone and their dog.

Bora Bora is a frequent vacation spot. Companies like Facebook likely even scrutinize how people slow as they scroll over a specific post. I’d more bet on them catching a subconscious behavior versus straight-up recording.

I’d sure like to know what it is

Ooo!! Okay, okay. So now Google needs to do the same thing, buuuuuuuut they need to pay us like they pay us for them surveys. I be doing those Google Surveys and be getting like 10 cents up to 50 cents per survey. I get Google Play cash that I can use in the Google Play store.

My in-app purchases in Epic Seven be from taking them surveys. And if Google can do something like this, but for voice recordings then oh yea!! Ooo!! And Google can definitely do more stuff.

I want to be banking in like $5 – $10 a month on Google Play credit just from these survey, and testing stuff.

Shoo, I’m dropping money for storage, and music from Google. So… they need to get with it. I want that 10 cents from doing a voice recording for Google should that become a thing of course.

You may be too young to remember this, but Google DID do this with GOOG-411. This was an automated 411 service in the pre-iPhone days where you would call 800-GOO-G411 and ask for information about businesses, such as phone numbers or addresses. GOOG-411 was unique because it was free, and most 411 services at this time were fee-based. Google used the service to beef up its speech recognition model, which it then used in other speech recognition applications like voice search.
Here’s an article that gives a bit more background: https://www.macworld.com/article/1154764/google_directoryassistance.html

I’d appreciate if you could hold back any "OK boomer" replies.

OK boomer.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑