NEWS25 August 2011

Pureprofile to add iPhone app, Facebook integration

North America Technology

US— Pureprofile, which runs websites where people can sign up to take part in surveys, is days away from launching an iPhone app that will allow its members to answer questions and build their profiles on the move.

It’s essentially a panel company, but one which much more explicitly sells the ability for users to make money through surveys. ‘Account holders’, as they are called, are told that the more profile information they share, the more surveys they’ll qualify for and the more cash they’ll make.

And the company does pay out in cash. “Everyone knows the value of a buck,” says executive vice president David Brudenell, a Canadian who, as the Australian firm’s “resident North American”, relocated from Sydney to San Francisco earlier this year to oversee the US expansion.

Brudenell explains that the company has changed much since Research last featured them in 2005, abandoning the “reverse search engine” concept, but remaining true to its central philosophy that people should see some payback from the information they share with companies.

“Fifty cents of every dollar revenue goes to our users,” Brudenell says, and it’s this that keeps account holders coming back. The company turned its email engine off in 2006, hoping to draw people in on the strength of the experience – and the rewards it offers.

Now, when account holders log in, they hit a button that either directs them to the most appropriate survey or asks them to share additional profile information. When the iPhone app launches – it is currently going through the Apple approval process – Pureprofile users will be able to add profile information on the fly, which will be tagged as coming from a mobile, thus giving clients a further layer of targeting ability. Check-in functionality – like FourSquare or Gowalla – will also feature as a way to build deeper knowledge of the places account holders shop, eat or relax.

Brudenell is proud of the company’s member retention rate and the level of interaction it enjoys – he says 16% of Pureprofile’s one million global members have been with the company since 2002, while on average each person answers 1,000 questions each year. However, he knows the company is competing for attention with the likes of Facebook.

To address this, in late November Pureprofile plans to roll out Facebook integration to allow members of both sites to link their accounts, so survey opportunities can be left as messages on a Facebook user’s wall while also pulling in additional profile data – with user permission.

By the end of this year, Brudenell says, the company hopes to crack the $20m revenue mark, as well as passing 600 active clients – most of whom are research agencies. He says 95% of the company’s engagements are for research purposes. The remaining 5% is marketing – but that’s largely confined to the Australian market.


1 Comment

10 years ago

Of course, no-one would go in and change their profile so as to qualify for more surveys to earn more, would they. I can see a burgeoning new industry here - SPP - Survey Profile Optimisation.

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