Poll Suggests Using Foreign-Owned Social Media Apps for Espionage is a Concern for US Adults

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order giving the popular social media app TikTok an ultimatum: be acquired by a US company or risk being banned from the US. 

While there have been other foreign apps with potential national security issues in the past, none have been as popular or garnered as much media coverage as TikTok. The WSJ recently reported that TikTok tracked user data in a way that was banned by Google but ended the practice in November 2019. Although there were concerns that the collected user data could be used by the Chinese government for “blackmail and espionage,” TikTok recently released a statement contesting these accusations, saying:

“We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request. In fact, we make our moderation guidelines and algorithm source code available in our Transparency Center, which is a level of accountability no peer company has committed to. We even expressed our willingness to pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company.” 

TapResearch polled adults across the US to see how the general public felt about the security of foreign-owned apps, such as TikTok. We surveyed 1,003 people ages 18-64 who live in the United States and the full results of this poll can be found here.

Our findings show that many people support banning apps developed by foreign companies, with 40% of respondents indicating that the US should ban all apps from countries that have an interest in spying on Americans and another 30% of respondents saying that the US should ban all foreign social media apps.

“Should the US ban all apps developed in foreign nations?”

Yes, only US-owned social media apps should be allowed for national security reasons (30%)

We should only ban apps from nations who have an interest in spying on Americans, such as Russia, China, etc. (40%)

No, we should not ban any apps (30%)

When the data is broken down by age group, there’s a trend towards more aggressive action by older adults compared to the young adult population. Among 18 to 20-year-olds, 35% of respondents said we should not ban any apps from the US app store, compared to only 18% of adults aged 55 to 64. 

While many respondents supported banning foreign-owned apps for national security reasons, the majority (77%) conceded that even US-based social media companies can be infiltrated by foreign governments to spy on Americans. 

Finally, we asked if the respondents agreed with President Trump’s executive order banning TikTok in the US. While the largest segment of respondents (31%) indicated that they agree because the Chinese government is using TikTok to spy on Americans, this data is divided across political lines. Respondents who indicated that they were conservative were more likely to agree with the President’s order, compared to the liberal groups, where a larger proportion did not agree with the executive order.

In the slightly and very liberal groups, 37% and 39% of respondents, respectively, said “No [I do not agree], US-owned social media companies are also not secure”, compared to 16% of the very conservative group. In the very conservative group, 71% of respondents agreed with the order banning TikTok either because the app was used by the Chinese government to spy on Americans or because it will put pressure on Microsoft to acquire TikTok’s US business. 

All in all, our poll suggests that many Americans are concerned about foreign-owned social media apps using their technology for espionage. The example of TikTok, however, shows that although being spied on is a concern, President Trump’s response is not overwhelmingly popular and opinion varies across the political spectrum.

About the Poll

TapResearch conducted this survey across its network of random mobile devices. The poll was conducted on August 7, 2020, with 1,003 respondents. 

If you’re a mobile marketer or decision maker and would like to run a similar poll across the TapResearch mobile sample network please contact Michael Sprague at michael@tapresearch.com.

Will rewarded incentives help save opt-in ad tracking? New research suggests no

Written and Researched by: Lily Crawford, Brian Larson, David Nebenzahl

As we inch closer to the release date for iOS 14 there has been loads of speculation on how this will affect the advertising ecosystem. For an industry, the loss of IDFA may have dire consequences for ad targeting and attribution, including significant expected CPM decline. There is little doubt in many people’s minds that Google is not far behind with a similar announcement for GAID’s. 

What does this all mean? It’s a good question, and many of us are still guessing at what the fallout will look like. During an online webinar in July, Beeswax CEO Ari Paparo referred to it as the “IDFA Apocalypse”.

In a previous survey on IDFA we presented responses from iOS users asked if they would select “Allow Tracking” when presented with the proposed Apple notification. According to our research, 63% of people said they were unlikely or extremely unlikely to allow tracking.

Some companies have suggested that they would offer rewards in order to have users opt-in and “Allow Tracking”. Apple could provide some flexibility to developers which may increase the number of users who would opt-in, such as different language in the message or the ability to reward users. There is still no clarity from Apple if users can even be incentivized with a direct or indirect message to opt-in to ad tracking, but assuming it’s possible, would these incentives be enough to change users’ minds? We polled 1200 mobile Free to Play users, ages 18-54, in the US to find out. You can see the full results of our research here.

We found similar results to our previous IDFA research (full results here), with 85% of those surveyed saying that they would not allow tracking when asked to “Allow Tracking.” Next, we asked if an incentive, such as “50 Gems to Allow Tracking” would change the result. 

Our research found that even with this incentive, 67% of respondents would still “Ask App Not to Track”. Although some respondents changed their minds, the survey suggests that the majority of users may still opt-out of ad tracking.

When asked about ad tracking more broadly, the largest segment of respondents did not answer favorably. Any other similar ideas to incentivize users to opt-in will have to take into consideration this negative sentiment towards IDFA. The research suggests that un-rewarded consent may likely have low opt-in and rewarded consent may not significantly increase opt-in. In the end, publishers and developers will need to diversify their methods of monetization and user acquisition. 

About the poll:

TapResearch conducted this survey across their network of random mobile devices. The poll was conducted on August 5, 2020 with 1,201 respondents. Each respondent was a verified mobile user.

If you’re a mobile marketer or decision maker and would like to run a similar poll across the TapResearch mobile sample network please contact Michael Sprague at michael@tapresearch.com

Poll Shows Distrust in Vaccines Could Lead to Low Adoption of COVID-19 Vaccine

In every major media announcement about COVID-19, developing a vaccine is lauded as the key to return daily life back to normal. Researchers around the world are working around the clock to develop a vaccine in record time. 

One week ago, Moderna became the first US-based pharmaceutical company to have a successful Phase 1 vaccine trial. After a limited test with 45 participants, this experimental vaccine was shown to generate an immune response, and a final study with 30,000 participants will start at the end of the month. These early results are promising and if the next stages of the vaccine trials continue to show an effective immune response with no adverse effects, experts predict that this vaccine could be mass-produced in early 2021. 

On Tuesday, the New York Times released The Vaccine Trust Problem as part of their Daily podcast series. Jan Hoffman, the Times health reporter, reports that “I heard more and more from people who were beginning to say, you know, I get all my vaccines, I’m up-to-date — I will not take this one. These are pro-science, pro-vaccine people who are cringing and wanting to avoid this vaccine. And I thought, we have a problem.”

In this podcast, the Times is suggesting that a significant portion of the US population may not go get a vaccine, even if it’s widely available. Assuming a successful vaccine is developed, the question then becomes: How can we expect to go back to our expected normal way of life if adoption is not widespread? 

Wondering this ourselves, TapResearch ran a quick poll of adults across the US on July 21, 2020, to see how they felt about the progress of the COVID-19 vaccine trials. We surveyed 1,040 people ages 18-64 who live in the United States. The full results of this poll can be found here.

Our results were similar to the findings of the research referenced by the Times. The data suggests that a significant segment of the population would not plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine if one became available. Of the 1,040 respondents,  528 responded “Yes”, 266 responded “No”, and 246 responded “maybe” when asked if they planned to receive the vaccine. These results did not have any correlation to respondent age but were moderately correlated with education level. The data suggests that those with bachelor’s degrees or other advanced degrees would be more likely than other groups to plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine if it becomes available. 

Another interesting finding was that younger respondents would rather get Covid-19 instead of getting the vaccine and avoiding contracting the virus itself. 49% of respondents ages 25-34 would choose to get the virus compared to only 27% of those aged 55-64.

While early vaccine trials from around the world show promising results, our research supports claims by reporters that a significant portion of the US population may not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Without widespread vaccination, it’s hard to pin our hopes of a “normal” life on the mass production of a successful vaccine alone.

About the Poll

TapResearch conducted this survey across its network of random mobile devices. The poll was conducted on July 22, 2020, with 1,040 respondents. 

If you’re a mobile marketer or decision-maker and would like to run a similar poll across the TapResearch mobile sample network please contact Michael Sprague at michael@tapresearch.com.

Socialpoint finds stability during a global pandemic with Rewarded Surveys

Socialpoint is a world-renowned mobile games developer and publisher based in Barcelona, Spain and best known for hit games Dragon City and Monster Legends.

As a mature and growing studio within the rapidly growing Take-Two portfolio, Socialpoint needed a scalable way to diversify their global revenue strategy beyond just advertising. This decision was accelerated in mid-2019 after Apple began swiftly rejecting applications from the iOS app store for not complying with their policy against pay-per-engagement (PPE) advertisements commonly used in Offerwalls.

Socialpoint needed to diversify their strategy.

Sofia Gilyazova, Head of Ad Monetization at Socialpoint, began looking for alternatives to ads and turned to Rewarded Surveys powered by TapResearch to expand her global revenue strategy across the portfolio.

Surveys were a great extension of their current rewarded strategy which includes Video and Offers. With Rewarded Surveys, Socialpoint users now have a new format to earn the large reward amounts they were trying to reach by watching 15+ rewarded videos per session.

The new format also gives Sofia’s team access to large global market research budgets estimated at over $47B in annual spending, in a familiar mobile format to their users.

Source: ESOMAR Global Market Research report

The experience fit seamlessly within their two top titles:

Dragon City

Monster Legends

Since the introduction of Rewarded Surveys to their games in mid-2019, Average Revenue per Daily Engaged User (ARPDEU) has increased 2.75X through Q4 and has not generated any signs of slowing down through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Socialpoints increase in ARPDEU since introducing the new format.

“TapResearch opened an entirely new source of revenue for Socialpoint that fit perfectly within our rewarded monetization strategy. Our users quickly adopted the new format and there were no negative impacts to our user support and communities. We’re excited to grow this partnership!”

— Sofia Gilyazova, Head of Ad Monetization at Socialpoint

Best Practices
To ensure success of the diversification strategy, Socialpoint deployed a number of specific tactics intended to educate users and increase LTV.

  • Introduced a clear CTA to differentiate rewarded formats
  • Posted game forum announcements to educate users of the new way to earn hard currency
  • Run regular currency sales to attract new users & re-engage existing ones
  • Add multiple-currencies to appeal to more types of users
  • Run regular cannibalization checks of iAP/ other ad formats

To learn more about TapResearch and about how Rewarded Surveys can generate a new revenue source for your game, please visit www.tapresearch.com/monetization or feel free to contact me directly at developers@tapresearch.com

New Poll Suggests iOS users unlikely to share IDFA with Publishers

During its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2020 conference, Apple began laying the ground work that may render the mobile ad ID or IDFA useless. Starting this fall with the iOS 14 release, Apple will require app developers to ask user permission before collecting ad IDs used to track users across apps and websites. The move is intended to add more transparency and control to the data being collected on users.

For example, users will begin seeing in-app notifications asking permission to allow or not allow tracking across other apps and websites:

The new user permission dialog in iOS 14 from Apple that allows or denies advertiser access to the IDFA (identifier for advertisers).

Given the language of the notification and the implications this could have on the mobile industry, we wanted to find out how iOS users felt about the new changes. So on June 29th, 2020 we ran a simple poll to 1,200 verified iOS mobile users asking them how likely they were to select “Allow Tracking” from an app they use and enjoy on a regular basis.

| Full disclosure, I work at TapResearch.

The poll asked was sent to iOS users, ages 18-64, that live in the US. Respondents were shown the in-app notification above and asked:

“If an app you use and enjoy on a regular basis presented this screen to you, how likely are you to select “Allow Tracking”?

1 — Extremely unlikely
2 — Unlikely
3 — Neutral
4 — Likely
5 — Extremely likely
Don’t know / no opinion

Of the 1,088 respondents who answered 1-5 the data suggests only 16% of iOS users would consider selecting the “Allow Tracking” option from an app they regularly use and enjoy.

Full results of the poll are published here.

Source: TapResearch

Further, when looking at responses by age group, there’s a stark trend among younger respondents which seem more open to allowing the tracking.

Source: TapResearch

While we don’t know for certain what implications this change will have across the mobile ecosystem, it is clear that mobile users will be gaining more control and transparency their data.

[Update: July 17, 2020] A few weeks after this original post there’s been some iOS 14 beta testing and we noticed a new consent screen, color and CTA so we re-ran the survey using the same methodology.

Side by side results below:

Source: TapResearch

The data suggests a slight improvement on users’ likliness to consent.

[Update: August 20, 2020] We’ve been seeing more iterations on the IDFA consent screen with user prompts before presenting the iOS 14 modal window. This seems like a common best practice for location tracking so we re-ran our IDFA survey to 1,200 respondents on iOS ages 18-64:

Source: TapResearch

The new data from 8/20 suggests a noticeable improvement compared to the June 29th survey which also included the “Allow Tracking” CTA.

About the poll:
TapResearch conducted this survey across their network of random mobile devices. The polls were conducted on June 29th, July 16th and August 20th 2020 each with 1,200 respondents. Each respondent was a verified iOS user.

If you’re a mobile marketer or decision maker and would like to run a similar poll across the TapResearch mobile sample network please contact michael@tapresearch.com


What are Rewarded Surveys?

PocketGamer recently reported on Apple’s recent crackdown on CPE/PPE ads commonly found in Offerwalls, and the resulting impact publishers are feeling. As publishers look for ways to offset these impacts, Rewarded Surveys are being identified as a great replacement.

So, what are Rewarded Surveys?
Rewarded Surveys are consumer surveys that users complete in exchange for in-app rewards or virtual currency.

Every major company with an ad budget also has a market research budget that they use to inform their decisions with consumer sentiment data from surveys. And the budgets are big! In fact, the market research industry represents over $50B in annual spend.

When it comes to survey-based research, there is an endless appetite for high quality, large scale consumer opinion data. While researchers traditionally relied on phone and email to reach people, those channels are becoming less and less effective, leading researchers to shift their budgets to mobile.

TapResearch created the best solution to connect researchers with high quality respondents via mobile, to give people a better way to enjoy their favorite apps, and to give publishers a new source of revenue.

We find that freemium and free-to-play (F2P) mobile apps that include virtual currencies as the best fit for Rewarded Surveys, and we work with many of the world’s pre-eminent publishers.

Our mobile-first, opt-in experience is built on the same revenue mechanics as Rewarded Video and Offerwall, but it’s even better because users never have to install any apps, register, or pay for anything. Users simply opt-in and earn virtual currency for sharing their opinions about the world’s top brands and services.

No app installs. No registrations. No credit cards.

TapResearch brings market research to mobile. We make it easy for research buyers to distribute mobile surveys in F2P games with a product that understands game mechanics and in-game virtual economies.


If you would like to learn more about TapResearch, and about how Rewarded Surveys can generate a new revenue source for your game, please visit www.tapresearch.com/monetization or feel free to contact me directly at michael@tapresearch.com.

TapResearch and PredictWise Partner to Predict TX-27 Special Congressional Election

TapResearch is always looking for cutting-edge use cases and partners to leverage our large scale audience engagement network to deliver better insights.  We are excited about expanding our efforts in political and opinion polling.

TX-27 has not been at the forefront of the news. Only few know that this minority-majority district holds special elections on Saturday, June 30th. TapResearch has teamed up with PredictWise to shed light on the political compass in this district, leveraging TapResearch’s innovative ways to collect data (randomly targeting cell-phone-level ad IDs) to quickly conduct polling at scale, as well as PredictWise’s proven methodology. And, while we find that the district is out of reach for Democratic challenger Eric Holguin, there is some hunger for progressive policies here.

Demographically, the district would be an obvious target for Democrats – 50% of residents are Hispanic in this district, consisting of Corpus Christi and Victoria up to Bastrop County near Austin and Wharton County near Houston. And, the most recent Representative, Republican Blake Farenthold, resigned in disgrace over sexual harassment allegations, on April 6, 2018. But, public polling has been non-existent here, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the organization with the goal to elect Democrats to Congress, has not exactly made this district a priority.

But, as a our new PredictWise/TapResearch poll shows (full data here): The district has hunger for some progressive policies, especially around taxation and gun regulation. First things first: Cook, the standard bearer of Congressional forecasting, has this district as solidly Republican. Our poll agrees: We have Republican candidate Michael Cloud far ahead in the two-party vote-share (65% to 31%). Nothing to see here for Democrats.


But as opposed to other polling, our poll goes deeper than the traditional horse-race, and dissects likely voters in TX-27 on relevant political issues of the day. Take gun regulation for example: Over 50%, a clear majority of Texans residing in this district, support restricting the amount of bullets. And, that number is still above 50% for Republicans, with 71% of Democrats in support (Independents are less inclined to support legislation to restrict the amount of bullets in firearms, coming in at 30% support).


On another issue front, Texans residing in this district are more mixed: immigration. While Dreamers enjoy support among likely voters – 64% of overall voters and a majority (54%) of Republicans support a pathway to citizenship in this district – only a small minority (9%) support an increase in the flow of legal immigration.


On economic issues, however, Texans in this coastal district inhibit a strong desire for more progressive policies: 63% (and 59% of Republicans) support increasing taxes for households making more than $250,000 a year, and over 90% (Democrats and Republicans alike) support tax increases for big corporations. And, a majority of Texans in this district believe that unions are good for them – and likely would have taken issue with the recent Supreme Court ruling on this matter.



Full data here. The insights presented here are a mix of PredictWise baseline data and a fresh set of respondents (N-200 likely voters, collected from 06/12 through 06/28) collected via TapResearch. Then estimates are created of public opinion using the most bleeding edge analytics of modeling and post-stratification (affectionately known as MRP+).

Mobile Surveys 101: Let’s Get Visual-Mobile Design Elements

So far, we have focused on the text of your survey, but questions and answers are only half the story. It’s tempting to get caught up in the phrasing and methodology of research– but you can’t ignore the way your survey looks and works.

You can think of a survey like a conversation with your respondents. Sure, we communicate a lot with our words, but we tell just as much with our facial expressions, hand gestures, and posture.

Think of visual design as your surveys body language.

We can use visual elements to keep interest, call attention to important information, and influence our respondents mood. This is more important on mobile, as you have to factor in the small size, navigation differences, and use of fingers instead of a mouse and keyboard.

Your control over how your survey looks will depend on the programing software you use, but here are five things to keep an eye out for no matter what:

Instagram Polls: 5 Lessons for Market Researchers

Last week Instagram launched its new “Polls” feature for stories and my nerd-heart skipped a beat. Instagram is my social-media drug-of-choice, and I love market research, so I just had to try it out. IMG_0694

Of course I was disappointed at the lack of functionality– I had a hard time even finding my data after a poll. You can only ask one question with two answer choices, and polls are only visible to your story’s audience. It’s obvious that Instagram’s Polls are more geared towards social interaction than research.

At first I was annoyed– then I began taking polls myself. I found it to be a fun and seamless way to engage with friends, corporations, and even celebrities. I started looking at Instagram polls from the respondent’s perspective, and I realized that this feature’s true value to market researchers isn’t the what– it’s the why.

Why have all of the major social media platforms (like twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram) all added polling functionality– and what can their features teach us about the future of online research?

Here are 5 Lessons for Market Researchers from my experience with Instagram Polls:

Mobile Surveys 101: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Question Writing

Now that you have worked through the planning stage and have a good understanding of question types, it’s time to jump-in and start writing your survey! As you begin crafting your questionnaire you should keep a few things in mind.

This simple guide will help you write good survey questions while avoiding bad mistakes and ugly issues (it’s a theme, get it?). If you follow these hints you will be getting the best data possible–without getting a headache.