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LinkedIn’s New Freelance & Consulting Gigs

LinkedIn Challenges Fiverr & Upwork With New Freelance Services

LinkedIn wants a slice of Fiverr and Upwork's pie and is reported to be in the process of developing a direct competitor to those services called Marketplaces.

Fiverr and Upwork connect white-collar workers to businesses that need their services. The pandemic has helped the duo increase revenue as folks have stayed at home and looked to supplement or replace their income by logging in to the gig economy.

The Information has reported that last year, when taken together, Upwork and Fiverr's revenue increased by 37% compared to 2019.

When placed in this context, you can see why LinkedIn is so keen to muscle in on the action while also further diversifying its existing revenue streams. On top of this, LinkedIn already does a little bit of what Upwork and Fiverr do – but we'll come to that later.

LinkedIn has 740 million users, who could be mobilised into a small army that increases its revenue and futureproofs the platform as the changes the pandemic has introduced become more permanent.

The hope is that Marketplaces will grow the userbase, too.

Marketplaces could launch in September, said The Information, and will look and feel like a combination of Upwork and Fiverr. Nothing like learning from the best, hey?

Amir Efrati, The Information

"LinkedIn Marketplaces is expected to look similar to Fiverr, which lets customers shop around for services and compare rates. Marketplaces will also allow users to post their own proposals to attract freelancers, similar to what Upwork does."

Freelancers will also be reviewed by the companies that hire them, while LinkedIn may take a percentage of every transaction processed on Marketplaces. LinkedIn will also generate revenue by letting freelancers post ads.

Besides, with geography a lesser cause for concern, the opportunity is also there for brands to choose from a larger pool of talent across a wider selection of services.

What about LinkedIn Profinder?

As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn has a similar service called Profinder. This tool helps businesses search for freelancers and contact them to take on contracts, which sounds incredibly similar to what Marketplaces is going to be.


"LinkedIn ProFinder has over 70,000 freelancers to help you get just about anything done. Send out a free proposal to vetted experts pulled directly from your network and start collaborating in hours."

Profinder is only available within the US and for specific categories. One key difference between Profinder, which will be discontinued when Marketplaces come in, and Marketplaces is that the former will allow firms to rate freelancers as well as compare jobs and rates.

Facebook is trying to muscle in as well

LinkedIn and Facebook must have been drinking from the same well because both platforms are looking to make the most of the gig economy's rise.

Facebook's freelancer service could be housed in Facebook Marketplaces and could monetise this by targeting ads or taking a slice of every transaction carried out.

An Upwork report found out that 24% more people are in the gig economy than last year, and Facebook looks like they're making moves to grab a slice of this market.

The two new developments by Facebook and LinkedIn share several similarities:

  • A platform that allows business and freelances to connect
  • Monetisation could take place in the form of a transaction cut or ad revenue

However, Facebook could strike out on its own by providing an Airtasker/TaskRabbit-type feature that'll let physical service freelancers like home repairers operate on Facebook.

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