Facebook will start paying users to voice train its Portal hardware, and you could earn cash

Facebook Portal
Facebook Portal (Image credit: Facebook)

What you need to know

  • Facebook will offer users money for their audio recordings.
  • This is part of a new Pronunciations program in its Viewpoints app.
  • Users will have the chance to make up to $5 from 10 recordings.

Facebook will offer users compensation for their voice recordings, the firm announced this week This is part of a project to improve its Portal smart home products. Dubbed Pronunciations, it's part of its Viewpoints market research app. For users who are selected, Facebook will prompt them to say "Hey Portal", plus the name of up to ten Facebook friends. This earns you points in the Viewpoints app which you can cash out in PayPal.

Facebook offers users the chance to ake up to 5 recordings, which would then give them 1000 points, or $5 when all is said and done.

"Participants record phrases within the app, which helps us improve name pronunciation recognition in our products to better serve the people that use them," a Facebook spokesperson told the Financial Times this week.

You won't be making much from Facebook's Pronunciations program, but at least it's a legal way for firms to improve their data collection without leaving consumers feeling shortchanged.

Last year, Google was criticised for secretly recording audio from its Google Home users. While it makes a provision for that in its terms and conditions, customers didn't quite understand the full implications. With this, the trade-offs are at least stated upfront.

Michael Allison