Get paid to unlock: new Android app rewards users for lock screen advertising

23 Jul 2013

A new Android app that plants mobile advertising right on users’ lock screens has already received more than 10,000 downloads after its launch in the US last week. But what would make users hand this valuable screen real estate over to advertisers? Monetary rewards, that’s what.

Locket is a free app available in the US only via Google Play. The app changes a user’s lock screen to display targeted advertising that they can either choose to engage with or not with a simple swipe, and every time they do so they will be rewarded financially.

These rewards are small, offering 1 US cent per swipe and no more than 3 cents per hour. But think about how many times you unlock your smartphone screen on a daily basis. Just by checking your phone as you usually do, say, 10 times a day, you would be US$36.50 richer by the end of the year.

Money earned through Locket can be donated to charity, added to a gift card or simply converted into cash for the user.


Mobile has become a vital platform for advertisers, but users often bemoan in-app pop-ups and intrusive display ads. Locket offers ads that can be targeted based on historical and real-time location data, purchasing patterns and in-app usage, presented to users in a way that gently calls for engagement and doesn’t leave them with a sour taste in their mouths – after all, they’re being rewarded for each ad they see.

According to Google Play, Locket has already breached the 10,000 downloads mark and, while it’s currently only available in the US, one can clearly see a worldwide market for an app that aims to please both users and advertisers.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic