How many times do we unlock our phones mindlessly each day? At every sign of boredom, insecurity or sometimes even urgency, we would immediately find ourselves reaching for the familiarity of our phone.
During an Apple conference in mid-April of this year, a Techpinions analyst shared how the company stats reveals that an average iPhone user unlocks his or her device 80 times in a day.
In fact, if we get paid for every single time we unlock our phone, we could probably already have a steady side income. Considering how dependent we are on our mobile devices (since it houses all our precious apps), this routine of constant locking and unlocking would certainly be handy if it actually pays. Well, one Malaysian company actually does.
Rewarded For No-Brainer Tasks
Twig is an Android-operated app which turns the lock screen into a highly personalised e-billboard and magazine. Once downloaded, it activates when a user chooses to unlock their smartphone. Hence, when I swiped to the left, I would be privy to the content curated by Twig daily, based on a list of trending sites.
Personally, most the content on Twig was something I would read on a daily basis anyway, hence it did not feel like an extra task. If I don’t like what I see, I merely have to swipe up until I find one which catches my eye. If I don’t see anything worth my time, I can just swipe right and head on to my device’s home page instead. That way, I’m not wasting time reading an article just for the sake of earning, but rather because my intention was to view it in the first place.
In a way, the app acts as somewhat of a social media portal, but this time, when we ‘like’ something, we need only swipe left, and we would be rewarded some Twig points for it. Each 1000 points earned translates to RM1 and rewards are redeemable from 5000 points onwards.
More Than One Way To Earn
In my week of using this lock screen unlocking app, I had noticed that I would gain an average of 3-8 points for every swipe. It was a slow but steady start and my basic earnings for one day would be about 100-120 points.
I only started earning the bulk of my Twig points by completing several simple tasks such as inviting a friend to join Twig (+1300 points), completing my Twig profile (+1000 points), and verifying my mobile number (+1000 points).
Other means of earning points would be completing some of Twig’s activities such as downloading apps from the mission wall. This would earn a user anywhere as little as 40 points to 4000 points, but I found this specific mission to be too much of a hassle, as it felt too forced. It can instead be an option for those who are close to their targeted points and wish to have a quicker boost to earning their reward.
The difference between Twig and similar screen unlocking apps would ultimately be the rewards which it provides. Whilst some other similar local apps provide rewards such as Auntie Anne vouchers and MPH gift vouchers, Twig allows its users to redeem instant rewards like Foodpanda e-vouchers, Grab credit, and Chatime e-vouchers.
One thing which they are doing right though is allowing users to quickly gain big points ranging from 1000-1300 at one go, whilst other similar apps only allow its users to earn up to 5 points at one go. This might be a deterrent as everyone wants a quick reward, hence points-wise, Twig succeeds to gain the attention of its users.
Swiping In The Rewards
My personal aim was to achieve a RM50 e-voucher for Paypal, and after a week of swiping left, I have achieved almost 3500 points, and am that much closer towards reaching my goal. In a little over a week, I am close to 4000 points.
Essentially, if I were to translate that to real-life monetary terms, I had just earned myself RM3.50 in one week, without even doing much at all, whilst my colleagues who are also on the app have been a little more hardworking and have racked in close to RM10 in a matter of a week.
That alone is motivation enough to continue using the app for an indefinite period of time. It could be a hassle to some, but what makes Twig feasible is the ‘choice factor’ that they lay in the palms of their audience. You could always choose which way to swipe that very moment, and every small action would lead to an ultimate prize. Twig’s ultimate mission is to subsidise its users’ wallets weekly with rewards that they love or need.
The downside though to screen unlocking apps is that most users would abandon the app after gaining their first big reward. Hence the challenge for Twig to remain relevant in many smartphones would be their constant updating of bigger and better rewards, as well as relevant advertisers which would cater to millennials who are essentially the target audience for such apps.
Twig is obviously not a scratch-and-win concept and it is a long-term commitment to have this app on your phone. In a way their concept is similar to how brick-and-mortar stores have their own point collection system whereby with every transaction made, points can be redeemed and rewards earned. However, the brick-and-mortar system actually requires one to spend; on the other hand, Twig gives Malaysians a chance to spend zero cash whilst still earning rewards at the same time.