Announcement from oDesk and How it Affects you

By on February 19, 2015
oDesk Logo green background

Recently, freelancers signed up to oDesk received this email from it’s CEO, Fabio (not that Fabio):


Dear Adam,

Over the last year, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the oDesk community. When we asked for your feedback, you said: Help us get hired faster, get paid more securely, and communicate more easily with clients. Improve the quality of the workplace so professionalism is rewarded.

We’ve been listening. This year, we:

  • Introduced Escrow to give you a more secure way to get paid on fixed-price projects
  • Released a new mobile app for you to communicate with clients on the go
  • Kicked off a series of initiatives to focus on quality, addressing members of our community who don’t meet our standards of professionalism

Your number one request has been to improve access to client opportunities. Today, as I shared in a letter to the community on our blog, I’m excited to preview two more solutions to help you achieve this.

1. Announcing Connects

The growth of the freelance economy has brought more clients and jobs to oDesk than ever before. With all of this opportunity, many jobs are flooded with applications written with varying levels of fit and attention to requirements. Clients who see too many generic applications tend to hire less. At the same time, qualified applicants have a harder time standing out.

That’s why we’re introducing Connects, a new system of applying to jobs.

Connects are virtual tokens you will need to submit in order to apply for a job. By default, all freelancers will receive 60 Connects per month. With this lower quota, we believe individuals will apply more selectively to jobs they are qualified for and interested in. You’ll be competing against fewer, more relevant applicants, making it easier for you to stand out when you’re a great fit.

You won’t need Connects to respond to invites or apply to jobs with clients with whom you’ve already worked. My blog post has the full details.

2. Announcing freelancer membership plans

We’re also introducing optional paid memberships for highly active freelancers.

By default, you’ll automatically be on the Freelancer Basic (free) membership plan, which comes with 60 Connects per month and the core tools to succeed on oDesk.

However, if you’re more active, you can upgrade to a Freelancer Plus membership, which will give you more Connects, the ability to roll over your Connects, visibility into what others are bidding, and other premium features.

You can change your plan at any time. See the blog post for more.

What should you do next?

We’ll follow up as these programs roll out over the next several weeks. In the meantime, visit our blog to learn more and ask questions.

We’re dedicated to making oDesk a better and more rewarding place to work. Thanks for being part of this incredible community.
Warm regards,

What Does this mean?

Two things:

  1. Because of connects, less spammy generic applications will be sent. This is great news for those of us who do high quality work at above a $15/hour rate. Kinda sucks for computer sweat shops in india that mass message for $3/hour, but who cares? They’re spamming clients anyway. You now have an opportunity for your application to be seen!
  2. Membership plan options. This is brilliant. This actually filters out the less serious people who are looking for high quality work. Again, this is great news for us!

What do you think of the new changes? Will this affect you at all? Let me know beloWQ

Adam Rasheed

About Adam Rasheed

Adam is a Web designer and professional photographer based in Corona, CA. He loves drinking chai and watching British comedies.