Google has always been all about data, from their earliest days of dominating internet search with new algorithms to today, when user data is paramount to their moneymaking 'modus operandi' of selling impactful, individualized advertisements. To get advertisers to bite, however, Google has to show not only that people will use their services, but that they know how people will use the services and how best to put out the ads for maximum engagement. To that end, they've never been shy about rewarding those who are willing to give up a bit of extra data that will help them get a better overall picture of their user base. One app that allows users to do just that, Screenwise Trends, finds itself with a new name and a few small changes as of Wednesday.
Screenwise Trends, or Screenwise Panel, will now be known as Cross Media Panel. The new name better represents Google's aim with the service, which is to figure out how users typically interact with all of their web-enabled devices on all fronts, why they interact with them the way they do, and how to cater to that behavior to improve their services and increase ad engagement. Users who sign up hand over a greater amount of individualized usage data to Google, essentially their digital "fingerprint", and are rewarded with online gift cards for big-name retailers. Users hungry for more gift cards, which now come to users in a matter of hours instead of weeks, can also answer surveys, give feedback and install more apps on their devices that give Google more data.
Most features of the panel have undergone a redesign to be simpler and more user-friendly. The main panelist portal, for example, now shows membership status and rewards balance at a glance, and has been optimized for mobile viewing. The interface for choosing your reward cards has been made a bit simpler, and a larger number of retailers are now available to get rewards through. The change is rolling out gradually to panelists throughout the coming weeks. After it's all said and done, users will be given a new web portal to go through and the old one will be phased out. On a side note, the service is currently not accepting new signups.