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Getting paid to chat

Earlier in July, Kiwi start-up Postr launched with the promise that it would pay users to host advertising on their smartphones. And while this could prove a novel way to encourage mobile users to voluntarily accept advertising as part of the experience, the premise has already been taken a step further by an app called Quack.

Launched earlier this week in the UK after enjoying success in both Spain and Italy, Quack is an instant messaging application that financially rewards users for chatting through the app. 

Advertising banners appear at the top of the screen, without interfering with the usability of the application. And should users want to watch a video embedded within the banner ad, they can do this without losing site of the conversation.     

Given that Facebook has just forked out $19 billion for Whatsapp without any major revenue source in place, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see a comparable approach integrated onto the chatting interface in the near future.

Interestingly, this form of advertising marks a shift from usual strategies in the sense that relies on the volition of the consumer to function. Rather than leaving the consumers annoyed with ad-caused interruptions, it rewards them for tolerating the odd add. And in this sense, it answers the timeless question ‘What’s in it for me?’ with a simple response: ‘Why money, of course.’ 

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