You’ve probably seen this elsewhere, however I’m glad to be able to offer it to our readers too. M:Metrics is a way to get earn money – £15 for the first month of participation and then £5 every month after that. But wait, I know you’ll quickly tell me that nothing in this life is free. Yes, we’ll admit it – you’re actually being paid to install some “panelist” software onto your phone. This software creates data about your usage and is used as research for service providers, phone manufacturers and games and content publishers.
The lure of free money is always powerful, but we feel strongly about your privacy and concerns. We can confirm that your details and personal phone information will never be sold or disclosed and M:Metrics also state that only a very tiny amount of data is sent back to their servers. We checked this and only one text message is sent after install, plus you can log into the “Panel Member” website at any time to see the how much data has been sent from your phone. For a hefty user, you’ll be looking at 50Kb at the most – that’s less than half of this page! The software is also optimised to be as efficient as possible, taking a minimal amount of your phone’s resources and less than 100Kb of memory.
What do you get in return ? Well, £15 hits your bank account in the first month of taking part and then you get £5 per month after that – but there’s the chance for additional cash rewards for continued participation up to £75 per year. Even better, M:Metrics give away a 40 inch LCD TV to one lucky user every six months!
For me, £15 in the first month is equal to six free beers, then £5 per month after that will pay for two free beers every month. Wehay! If you’d like to try it out just click the banner below. There’s a full list of frequently asked questions further down, so check those out if you have any concerns.
1. Why do I have to install software on my mobile phone?
2. Who is M:Metrics?
M:Metrics provides high quality consumer research to mobile communications industry leaders about the features and services that mobile phone users prefer. Companies who subscribe to our reports include the top mobile service providers, phone manufacturers and games and content publishers. M:Metrics’ monthly reports are read by senior executives in the mobile communications industry to help them make better business, creative, and production decisions based on real consumer preferences and opinions.
3. What is the M:Metrics Smart Mobile Panel?
The M:Metrics Smart Mobile Panel (Smart M:Panel) is a group of consumers who participate in our mobile communications research panel by installing our research software on their smartphones. Participation is completely voluntary. Participants receive participation rewards as a token of our appreciation for continuing their membership in our panel.
4. Who is eligible to participate in the panel?
Any person who is 18 years or older and owns, and actively uses, a smartphone for their mobile communications is eligible to participate. Please see the current list of eligible smartphones to see if your mobile phone is listed.
5. What does your research software do?
The Smart M:Panel meter records and collects information about participants’ mobile phone data usage. This may include messaging services, mobile web browsing activity, usage and titles of downloaded applications and files as well as usage of cameras, video streaming and other utilities on the mobile device. The meter may also collect information regarding the web pages you view, the links you access, and usage times for certain device activities (e.g. text messaging, call lengths, and web browsing). We may also collect technical information about the device (e.g. number of games loaded, number of custom ringtones available, and operating system versions).
6. What happens to the research data I provide to M:Metrics?
M:Metrics uses the data collected from participants to prepare research reports and studies. We combine the data collected across many individuals and extrapolate these results to all mobile phone users using statistical projection methods. Our customers use insights from our reports to learn more about consumer preferences and to make better decisions about new product development and marketing.
7. How did I get an invitation to join your panel?
8. Why do you need my demographic information?
All of our reports are aggregated across many participating mobile phone consumers. We collect basic demographic information, like age, gender, education level, etc., so that we can describe the type of people who have different preferences and opinions about mobile communications on their smartphones without revealing any personally identifiable information. We also use this demographic information in our statistical projections to all mobile phone users. For example, information collected and aggregated from men age 25-34 in our panel is extrapolated to describe the preferences and opinions of all men age 25-34 in the UK mobile phone user population.
9. Why do you need my contact information?
10. Why can’t I find my phone on your website?
Currently, M:Metrics only installs our research software on smartphones with either the Windows Mobile or Symbian Series 60 operating systems. If your phone is not currently listed, then unfortunately you cannot participate in our research study at this time.
11. What kind of phone do I need to own to participate in your panel?
Research participants must own an activated smartphone model that is on the list of currently supported mobile phones. A smartphone is a mobile phone which already comes installed with additional applications and functions, such as email, calendar, and games. Smartphones are different from other phones in that they use operating systems such as Windows Mobile or Symbian OS, which allow phone owners to install additional software applications on their phones. These software applications are made available by the mobile service provider or by other companies who provide software applications for mobile phones. Please see our list of currently support mobile phones.
12. Who will have access to my personal information?
Only a limited number of M:Metrics employees have access to our panel members’ personally identifiable information. We consider name, address, email address, phone number and any other contact information or communications related to individual panel membership details such as rewards and incentives as personally identifiable information. This information is always stored separately from panel members’ demographic profiles and Smartphone usage data so that all research reports are completely anonymous.
13. What rewards will I get for participating?
Panel members receive a variety of rewards and prizes in appreciation for joining our research panels. We periodically update our membership incentives to help make your participation a more rewarding experience. Upon receiving your invitation to join the Smart M:Panel, you’ll learn about your special incentive offer. Questions about your incentives should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
14. How do I update my contact or demographic information?
Go to https://www.mobilepanel.co.uk/login.aspx and log in using the email address and password you provided when you originally signed up. If you can’t remember your password, you can request to have it sent to your email address from the login page. Contact our Panel Member Support Desk via email at email@example.com.
15. What if I change my phone?
We hope that you will continue to participate as a member of our research panel! If you change your phone, you can still be a member of the research panel as long as your new phone is on the list of currently supported smartphones. Please notify our Panel Member Support Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org when you change your phone so that we can provide you with the version of the software that is appropriate for your new phone.
16. What if I change my service provider?
We hope that you will continue to participate as a member of our research panel! If you change your service provider, you can still be a member of the research panel as long as your phone is on the list of currently supported Smartphones. (See What if I change my phone? above.) Please notify our Panel Member Support Desk at email@example.com when you change your service provider so that we can update your demographic profile appropriately.
17. Will your research software impact my phone bill?
It depends on the details of your messaging and wireless Internet/data plans. Upon initial installation, the software will send one SMS text message to the M:Metrics server. Whenever the software detects that the SIM card on your smartphone has been switched, it will send an SMS text message to the M:Metrics server. If you are paying for individual text messages, charges for these will appear on your bill. Additionally, the software initiates wireless Internet data connections to the M:Metrics server to send the data records it has collected. The software is optimised to keep these data records as small as possible but, if you have a wireless Internet plan where you pay for every byte of data sent or received, you will see these additional charges on your bill. Note: Some service provider plans charge additional fees for text messaging and wireless Internet/data transfers. Please check the terms of your messaging and wireless Internet/data plan before installing the research software on your phone. You can log into our Panel Member Site at any time to see the amount of data that has been sent from your phone. Go to www.mobilepanel.com/panel and login using the email address and password you provided when you originally joined the panel. If you can’t remember your password, you can request to have it sent to your email address from the login page. Or, contact our Panel Member Support Desk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
18. Will your software impact the performance of my phone?
The software is optimised to be as efficient as possible. It is designed to require as little space as possible (See How much space or memory does your software require?) and to use only a minimal amount of your phone’s resources. During the normal course of operation, you should not detect any change in performance. Our Panel Member Support Desk will promptly address any technical questions or concerns you may have while participating in the Smart Mobile Panel.
19. How much space or memory does your software require?
The memory requirement for the phone will vary depending on the phone model and version of the software. Generally, however, it requires less than 100KB of memory to store the research software and 128KB to store the collected data before it is encrypted and securely sent to the M:Metrics servers.
20. How do I know if your software is working?
The software has no user interface that is visible on your smartphone. However, you can run one of the available third-party process monitoring tools on your smartphone to see if our program “monitor.exe” is running, or you can check our secure Panel Member Site to see if our server has registered any recent activity from your phone. (See How do I update my contact or demographic information?) Or, you can email the Panel Member Support Desk with any questions or concerns at email@example.com.
21. How does your software send information back to M:Metrics?
Our software establishes an http data connection to send compressed usage information to our server. All communications happen in the background without interfering with the usage of your smartphone. The research software establishes communication with the M:Metrics server at specific intervals or when its local data storage has become too full. It has safeguards to prevent it from connecting too often or allowing its local data storage to grow beyond set limits.
22. Does your software monitor my phone calls?
No, our research software does not monitor your phone calls, nor does it record the phone numbers that you call or that call your phone. Our software can count the number of calls that you make or the total time you spend on calls but we never record or monitor your private conversations or voice mail messages.
23. How can I reinstall your software?
If you need help reinstalling the research software on your phone, you can either request to receive a text message with a new installation link from our Panel Member Support Desk by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit our secure Panel Member Site and log in using your login id and password. Once you enter the site, click on the link “Reinstall my smartphone software” and follow the instructions.
24. How do I quit the panel?
Our research program is entirely voluntary. Panel members may quit their membership at any time by uninstalling the research software or by contacting the Panel Member Support Desk at email@example.com for assistance. See de-installation instructions at “How do I uninstall your research software from my phone?”
25. How do I uninstall your research software from my phone?
For Windows Mobile users: Using your Start menu, first select Settings, then select Remove Programs. Find “MMetrics Meter”, and select “Remove” from the menu.