A new app called Locket allows you to earn money by displaying ads on your smartphone’s lock screen.
Ads are annoying, but would you voluntarily look at them if someone paid you to do so? One app developer is asking that question. Earlier this month, Locket launched on Android, and this new app will pay you to look at ads on your phone’s lock screen.
Locket was founded by Yunha Kim, Paul Jang, and Christopher Crawford after Kim realized just how often she looks at her phone. Every time you pick up your phone during the day, you have to unlock it, so this “unlock” screen is valuable real estate. And Kim isn’t the only one who thinks so. According to TechCrunch, the startup received $500,000 in funding from Great Oaks VC just three days after giving their pitch–their first pitch ever.
Putting Locket on your phone is a similar experience to the Kindle device lock screen ads. Instead of a wallpaper, you’ll see interactive ads for movies, brands, etc. If the ad interests you, you can swipe one direction to watch a trailer, go to the Facebook page, receive a coupon, or go to a website, for example. If not, swipe the other direction to get into your phone like normal.
Regardless of whether you click through (or, more accurate, swipe through), you are paid 1 cent for every swipe, capped at 3 cents per hour right now. The ads you see are based on a brief questionnaire you fill out upon downloading the app (which you can complete using Facebook if you want to link the two), as well as your other app use, and your engagement with the ads you see. So, you’ll see targeted ads that actually fit your interests.
What I really like about Locket is that the company is committed to growth without compromising the integrity of the app. They currently have 8 advertisers on board, and are expected to add another 2 soon. However, they’ve already turned down ads from companies selling lingerie, alcohol, and other brands that aren’t family-friendly. This means you don’t have to worry about your kids grabbing your phone and seeing something inappropriate on the lock screen or something embarrassing popping up while your phone is on the table during a business meeting.
The money you’ll earn isn’t great. Even if you never sleep, the maximum you can earn is around $5 per week. However, as more advertisers jump on board, that number could rise. And if you’re looking at your phone so often anyway, why not let it buy you coffee once a week?
Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator for New Media Expo (NMX), where you can learn more about blogging, podcasting, web TV, and social business. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.