oDesk Rebrands as Upwork: What it Means for Freelancers
With more and more professionals around the world shifting to freelance work, the platforms which connect freelancers with potential clients (and visa versa) are becoming ever more important. If you’re a freelancer working with international clients, you are probably familiar with either Elance or oDesk. Yesterday, the company announced that it is re-branding and merging both sites together under a new brand called Upwork. The company’s new CEO, Stephane Kasriel, says the name change was an attempt to redefine work from “downer” to an opportunity to find better work than what is often available locally…hence, moving “up.”
What does this mean for those of you working on Elance or oDesk?
As of yesterday, oDesk has disappeared and now redirects you to Upwork, which charges clients the same percentage for paying freelancers as oDesk did. Elance, which charges clients a slightly lower percentage, will continue to operate. All new users will sign up with Upwork; however, the company aims to have a single platform, which means that Elance users will also be redirected to Upwork…but that change will not be immediate. For Payoneer users, the transition will not change a thing; however, you should expect to see payments coming from Upwork now instead of oDesk.
Here’s what’s new:
Upwork Messenger: Upwork has added a new real-time collaboration feature designed to make chatting and working with clients easier. It’s essentially a project management tool made specifically for working on freelance projects. The idea is that you can create groups for each of the teams you’re working with , which is really cool if you work with (or want to start) freelancers around the country/ continent on shared projects. What’s even cooler is that the new messaging feature will be available to everyone for free, even those who aren’t using Upwork.
Mobile Application: Do you spend more of your time on the go? Upwork’s new platform features a new mobile app for iOS, which allows clients to create jobs, proposals and contracts and for freelancers to more easily accept job opportunities as they are presented.
Enhanced matching algorithms: Upwork is proud of it’s new algorithm (built by “employees with Stanford PhDs”), which they claim significantly improves the ability for freelancers- and those searching for freelancers- to find relevant opportunities in a much shorter amount of time.
instamatch: We all know that it is often the first to respond that get the most jobs. Well, now you can set your status to available “right away,” “looking” or “not looking” so that potential clients can find you more easily and you can win more projects.
Have you started using the new platform? Tell us what other changes/ upgrades you find!