By now you’ve probably spent a decent amount of money on iPhone apps, so wouldn’t it be nice if you could make some of that money back?
Well the Field Agent app might be able to help you do just that, claiming to be the first app that actually pays you, the user. By signing up to become an “Agent” you fit into a very simple ecosystem: A “Client” creates a job, the “Agent” (you) completes the job, the client and agent are happy.
What does this mean in the real word? Well, a client is a company or service that has signed up at FieldAgent.net and needs information on competitors, consumers or wants to check whether its products are being correctly sold. The agent is someone who has download the Field Agent app and receives notification that a client needs a job done, carries it out and is paid a small fee for their troubles.
While it sounds very James Bond meets Foursquare, the app and its assignments are for real as far as we can tell and actually do pay. While no explicit information is given as to the purpose or beneficiaries of these “assignments”, it’s a safe bet that most of them are market research for the Fortune 50 clients who back the app.
Fortunately, the agent jobs required by the clients don’t involve horses heads in beds or extortion either. Most of the assignments involve checking prices at stores or filling out surveys and pay between $3 and $12 if completed properly and within a set time limit. Jobs often require a verifiable GPS location and a photograph in order to keep the clients happy so an iPhone 3G or 3GS is recommend.
Once an agent has made their money it can be transferred to a PayPal account within 48 hours.
Agents also develop a Rep Score that shows how good a job you’re doing for your clients. Starting with 85 points, agents gain points up to a maximum of 100 for successful, accurate jobs with higher rep leading to more frequent jobs. Of course, if you fail at your task or submit inaccurate results you lose points and aren’t at the top of the pile when the next assignment comes in.
It seems that agent jobs are somewhat scarce at the moment with a number of iTunes reviewers giving some pretty harsh feedback that has prompted a response from the company. Apparently the number of agents has increased by 500% in a week and they are waiting for the client growth to catch up. This does sound like a cleverly worded way of saying “companies aren’t quite as interested in the service as consumers who stand to make money” but apparently more jobs are coming soon.
We’re keeping a close eye on this intriguing service that has the potential to be groundbreaking but could also end up wasting a lot of people’s time.