If you have a couple of gaming apps on your phone, you’ll be familiar with the option to watch a trailer or video in exchange for something in the game.
That could be free lives, coins, or whatever currency the game deals in.
Turns out this system extends past the world of phone gaming and into other spheres as well, ranging from companies like Netflix to celebrity gossip shows, and sports, too.
If you watch the right content you could be looking at real-world benefits like cash money or gift cards.
People have started capitalising on this by running ‘phone farms’, reports VICE.
Hobbyists and those looking to make a bit of money across the U.S. have been […] buying dozens or hundreds of phones to generate revenue so they can afford some extra household goods, cover a bill, buy a case of beer, or earn more income without driving for Uber or delivering for Grubhub.
The farms are similar to those found overseas, often in China, where rows and rows of phones click and scroll through social media or other apps to simulate the engagement of a real human.
Every few months, a video of these Chinese farms goes viral, but in bedroom cupboards, stacks in corners of living rooms, or custom setups in their garage, American phone farmers are doing a similar thing, albeit on a smaller scale.
You’re probably reading this and thinking back to the hundreds of ads you’ve already watched or seen today and wondering why you aren’t getting paid.
Typically you don’t get paid for watching or reading an advertisement on the internet. But an ecosystem of websites and apps flip that idea on its head. With a marketing strategy called “incentivized traffic,” app developers take advertisements or other content that companies want to get in front of an attentive audience, and pay that audience to watch or interact with them.
Apps like Perk give viewers points for watching trailers and shows which can be exchanged for more valuable goods.
Rather than actually watch the adverts, phone farmers use as many as a hundred phones and sometimes automate the process to make it seem like someone is watching the ads in order to generate income.
Joseph D’Alesandro, 20, made nearly $2,000 a month from phone farming back in 2017, he told Motherboard in a phone call. In eighth or ninth grade, D’Alesandro found one of the apps popular with farmers and started running it on his main phone.
…Other phone farmers said they’ve made hundreds of dollars a month from passively running apps on their phones. Goat_City said they pulled in $700-800 a month recently; another farmer with the username CallMeDonCheadle said their farm made $7 a day, working out to more than $200 a month.
$700 is a shade over R10 000 – not bad for a month where you passively run some apps.
All of this sounds like a lot of effort. I’m far more likely to take my old iPhone down to Digicape, South Africa’s largest independent Apple retailer, and trade it in for a discount on a shiny new device.
On the flip side, if you are the farming type, more power to you
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