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A new app has launched an update that will make it twice as easy – in a way – to earn some cash just by answering some questions and interacting with brands.

Dabbl launched several months ago, as something of an Ibotta without the purchase requirements. Like Ibotta, you might be asked to watch a video or answer a question about a brand. But unlike Ibotta, you don’t actually have to buy anything – you’ll get rewarded with cash in exchange for your time.

Unfortunately, it can take a whole lot of time to earn enough to cash out for a gift card. So last week, Dabbl made it easier by cutting the cash-out threshold in half, from $10 to just $5.

It can still take a while to earn even $5 when the offers are few and far between, and each one pays no more than about 50 cents, and sometimes as little as just a few pennies. But Dabbl’s founders say they’re just getting started.

Dabbl has its roots in “Fresh Lettuce”, an app launched by the Tampa tech startup Adjoy in 2016 for the now-defunct Marsh grocery chain. That app also allowed shoppers to earn cash by watching brands’ videos and taking quizzes. The cash back would be loaded to a shopper’s Marsh loyalty account and applied to their next purchase.

But just half a year later, Marsh went bankrupt, sold off all of its stores and mothballed Fresh Lettuce. So Adjoy pushed on, and announced a new partnership with ShopRite to power its “Downtime Dollars” program, which is similar to what Fresh Lettuce was.

But Adjoy’s hope all along was to launch its very own app, to allow anyone to earn cash for interacting with brands, no matter where they shop.

“We’re working on a standalone app,” Adjoy Director of Marketing Bryson Hale told Coupons in the News at the time of Fresh Lettuce’s launch. “The next iteration will be more Adjoy-specific.”

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And that brings us to Dabbl. The app was officially announced last November, and Adjoy has so much confidence in it, it actually changed its company name from Adjoy to Dabbl. The concept of the app remains the same as it was for Fresh Lettuce and Downtime Dollars – incentivizing you to interact with brands instead of just passively viewing an ad that may or may not resonate.

”Dabbl empowers consumers to participate as sellers in the market for their attention,” the company said in announcing the app’s launch. “Brands create unique, interactive campaigns on Dabbl. Consumers choose which Dabbl campaigns they experience, when they want to experience them, and feel good knowing the brands they engage with value their time tangibly and transparently by paying them for it.”

“When you have some free time, you’re waiting at the laundromat, or sitting in the car line to pick up your kids from school, why not earn a dollar with Adjoy instead of playing Candy Crush?” Hale said before Dabbl’s launch.

The original Android version of the app has several thousand downloads so far (an iOS version followed a few months later). That’s far from the millions who use apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51, so Dabbl is still working to gain a foothold among shoppers who have plenty of cash-back apps to choose from. So far, most reviewers seem interested in the concept, but are having trouble actually “turning spare moments into gift cards” as Dabbl promises.

“Takes a VERY long time to earn anything. I have had it a month and am about halfway to the cash out level,” one reviewer wrote. “For an app that advertises that it’s great for using wasted time, you sure don’t get to do much. Two surveys that take 5 seconds, and then it’s over. Nothing else happens, doesn’t tell you when to expect the next surveys. It’s not super helpful,” another wrote.

Dabbl says new surveys are added to the app about every other day, so the quicker you complete those that are available, the sooner you’re likely to see new ones. It’s also working on push notifications to alert you when there are new surveys available.

It might also consider expanding its rather limited selection of gift cards offered as cash-out rewards. It did recently add Target to its list of options, but that brings the total number of gift card offers to just nine. Compare that to another gift card-based app, Fetch Rewards, which has offers from more than 100 retailers, restaurants and more.

But all cash-back apps have to start somewhere. So as more people use Dabbl, more brands might come aboard and more surveys will be available. And that will make it easier to truly turn your down time into dollars – a few cents at a time.

Image source: Dabbl

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