LinkedIn Is Launching A Freelance Services Marketplace

LinkedIn Is Launching A Freelance Services Marketplace

LinkedIn is launching a new feature today that facilitates freelance work. Users will be able to provide, or commission, ad-hoc work arrangements without engaging in any official employment contract.

The Microsoft-owned platform is putting itself in direct competition with the likes of Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. As the work-related social network that most people are already on, it should enjoy an immediate advantage. If it can manage to make the user experience frictionless on both sides, that could make it the premier platform for freelance services.

You can find the option on your LinkedIn profile, below your pic and bio:

A red arrow points to the spot on the LinkedIn profile where you can click to start freelancing

Figuring out where the line should be drawn in terms of how freelancer-focused or client-focused the platform is can be hard. It looks like the line falls closer to the employers here, as clients can review freelancers but not the other way ’round.

The sheer volume of users on LinkedIn might help. But there are practical and UX problems none of these platforms have solved yet.

Using services like Upwork is often not as straightforward as it first appears. A certain amount of soft skills and SEO is required to be seen, and often freelancers find themselves doing jobs for low rates while they build up a history of positive reviews.

A small screen showing LinkedIn users that they'll have to fill out some information to work freelance

There’s also the advantage of having any such work show in your work history on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn tested the feature in the US earlier this year, and this beta gathered 2 million users. Now, the service is active for all 800 million global users.

The form you have to fill out to start freelancing has information about your location and what skills you can provide

TechCrunch reports that LinkedIn’s normal business has been going quite well in the meantime, with confirmed hires increasing 160% in the last year, and advertising revenue up 61%. Its LinkedIn Learning service is also successful, chiming into the wider trend of business-organised upskilling and self-learning.

Currently the platform still needs additional features like negotiating rates, and the dynamic of people trying to take arrangements off-platform is still unclear (another unsolved problem in the space).