Are you looking for new work-from-home opportunities amidst the pandemic? If you are, then you must have come across microtasks platform like what Appen is offering.
Micro tasking has always been an outlet for people with different interests. Completing small tasks online seems like a great way to make some extra money online, but it is unfortunate that most of these seemingly legit positions turn up as scams. Some push you into buying their upgrade package or never pay at all! It’s important to do research before getting started with any program.
Now I want to start off by saying that I’m not affiliated with Appen in any way shape or form so you can rest assured that this review will be an unbiased honest one.
For those of you who have been following my website, you’ll know that I always go deep below the surface to find out what a product/system truly is, before making my recommendation.
My objective is to help my readers to look past the hypes surrounding the product, and to be able to make an informed purchase decision based on a clear understanding of the nature of the product.
Honest, unbiased reviews – that is what you will find here.
And if you’d like to see an alternative, honest, and legitimate platform to start earning money online, then please click here.
Product Name: Appen
Founder: Dr. Julie Vonwiller
Product Type: Microtasks platform
Best For: People looking for odd jobs online
Summary: Appen provides or improves data used for the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
It is a pay-per-task platform that utilizes a global crowd to complete microtasks in exchange for rewards.
Overall Ranking: 4/10
Recommend: Yes and No
Appen was founded in 1996 by linguist Dr Julie Vonwiller in Sydney. It was previously known as Appen Butler Hill and was re-branded as Appen in 2013. In July 2015 Mark Brayan joined Appen as CEO and continues to hold that position until today. Currently, Appen is based in New South Wales, Australia and it operates globally through its subsidiary companies based in Australia, UK, China, Philippines as well as 5 different locations in The USA.
What Is Appen
As quoted from Mark Brayan, CEO of Appen, “The AI industry depends on the people who collect and label the data. They help make machine learning-empowered solutions possible and we are formalizing our commitment to their well-being. ”
Artificial intelligence is the future of technology and machines need human-quality data to learn.
Appen contributes to the AI industry by collecting and labelling images, text, speech, audio, video and other data used to construct and improve innovative artificial intelligence systems. Those data collected are called training data, which then can be used by various industries to deploy world-class AI products.
To process and standardise those raw data Appen engage over 1 million skilled contractors who speak over 180 languages, plus their own advanced AI-assisted data annotation platform.
To give you an idea of how does it work, let’s take handwritten text recognition as an example.
Consider this scenario – somewhere, meanwhile, someone is desperately trying to decipher what a spy agent has written in his secret note this week. So if we humans are struggling to read others’ handwriting. How, then, is a computer going to do it?
While handwriting recognition is a long-standing technology that’s seen many improvements over the years, it has suffered from accuracy issues from the beginning.
The way to improve its accuracy is by feeding the learning algorithm with a gigantic amount of examples. People spending weeks or months annotating huge sets of the handwritten text so that the machines can learn over time, and adapt their output using weights.
With the help of those training data, AI could one day greatly improve the accuracy and ability of handwritten text recognition, and thereby, decipher the spy agent’s message.
How Can I Work With Appen?
Now that you have understood what’s the big mission behind Appen, but how exactly can you work with Appen?
Well, you get the picture.
Appen does so many different things for various big companies around the world they have a whole lot of data to deal with. As their client base continues to grow, so is their workforce needs, it is not hard to imagine that they are always on the lookout for extra manpower.
For the purpose of this review, we will focus on part-time flexible jobs that can be done from home.
Here are the job categories offered by Appen i.e. projects, micro-tasks, survey & data collection.
Projects – Projects can range from something as short as few hours of work to those that last for a few months.
Microtask – Micro tasks can be anything- speech evaluation, social media evaluation, audio transcription etc. Works as such typically require less than an hour of time.
Surveys and Data Collection – You can be asked to complete a survey questionnaire, submit a video selfie, taking video of your room / commercial environment, action video, read and record prompts etc, basically simple tasks that can be completed within an hour or so using your mobile or laptop.
How Do I Sign Up With Appen?
To get started you will have to provide a valid email address. Once your email address is verified you will get access to their job board.
The job board gives you an overview of the projects, including pay per task and also the workload.
The projects are categorised based on the main activity of each project, such as the data collection, linguistic, search evaluation, social media and more. You can use the filter option to select your desired project categories.
Now that you are on it, read the project description to get a better understanding of what is expected from this job. Clicking on “More” will allow you to access the benefits and key requirements in detail.
Certain projects display more information only after you click the ‘apply button. Don’t worry though, the job isn’t to apply yet. Further confirmation is required in the subsequent step.
There are many different projects to choose from, but only a small fraction of them will be visible. To see the full variety of what’s out there make sure that you complete your profile so that all the relevant ones show up.
To view your applied projects, simply click on the tab labelled “Applied”. As for the “My Projects” tab, it will take you to a list of all those tasks that you have passed the qualification and can now be worked on.
Being a contract worker, it’s important to know the qualifications that are required of you before starting any project. While most projects are straightforward, there are some that call for a higher level of skill and you have to pass a test before being eligible.
For each project, you will be provided with its own set of invoicing instructions. Make sure to read these so that payments can go out on time.
The majority use Payoneer as their payment platform, so if that’s the case for your project, it’s best to set up in advance once you are accepted for the job.
How Much Can You Make With Appen
Typically, how much you can make depends on the complexity of the project.
From what I see, a mundane task like annotating images can be done at a pay rate as low as one cent per entry, while some video selfie tasks can fetch almost $1 per video.
To give you a better estimation, I went through user reviews on Indeed.com to find a gauge for how much money they pay people who work there.
The reviews are mixed, with some people reporting high salaries of $25 for a one-hour job while others saying the pay was as low as $3-$4. It seems like on average workers get paid less than 10 dollars per hour.
When putting their numbers side by side with that of Smart Crowd Lionbridge, Appen seems to be more competitive in terms of the pay you are getting out of each job.
Appen Smart Crowd Lionbridge
What I Like About Appen
You never have to be tied down. You can work from anywhere with an internet connection, and for the most part, you’ll only need a computer or mobile phone, as long as they are connected and online.
In fact, if you are interested in small tasks like this, there is another platform called Domainite which specialise in freelance writing and proofreading opportunities.
However, don’t mistake this for the laptop lifestyle. The earning from Appen will not be enough for you to settle your bills or debt and daily expenses in a sustainable way.
In fact, that lifestyle that I am talking about is the beauty of affiliate marketing, where you get the freedom of working anywhere while making a passive income.
What I Don’t Like About Appen
1. No Prospects
Freelancing jobs like this is a shortsighted way of making money without any prospects. The only thing you’ll get from it is some quick bucks, there is no pay raise, no promotion, no bonuses of any kind.
To be honest, jobs like these are often not difficult but definitely tedious. Imagine hours of staring at a screen and annotating images. The work could get repetitive which would make things boring fast- doesn’t sound too appealing does it?
Moreover, the pay is so low that it is barely worth your time…
2. Low Pay
Understandably, as a freelancer, you will not be entitled to any benefits, minimum wage or whatsoever.
While the pay rates are generally good with Appen. However, we are still talking about less than $10 per hour. Not to mention that the hours you can work in a day is limited to the tasks available.
In my opinion, it is a lot of work for very small rewards. If you look hard enough, you can definitely find a better way to earn money online from home.
3. Job Availability
Job availability varies depending upon various factors like location, skillset, competition amongst workers etc. Sometimes it may be easier to get higher-level jobs as compared to lower-level ones because they’re less competitive.
4. Unexplained Termination
Appen was a great place to work for many years, but a few users reported that Appen support has recently been sub-par.
One user reported that they were terminated without explanation after years of working with the company, another reported issue with Appen support. When the user trying to contact support for help, he noticed that Appen support hardly ever replies and that he was left on his own.
4. Monthly Payment
Payment is made monthly, so you can’t withdraw the money as and when you need it. One can only work a set amount of hours so it wasn’t income that could pay major bills like rent.
Is Appen A Scam?
For microtasks like this, I always tell people that joining is free and it’s not a scam so they have nothing to lose by trying.
But to be completely honest with you, the competition for these jobs are simply too high which makes them low-paid, leaving you with no incentive or fulfilment from your work.
If you’re in need of a little extra cash and find yourself struggling financially, then Appen could be worth a shot. But if you’re financially secure then don’t bother to waste your time. It is not something to count on as a primary source of income.
I can understand why people want to be a part of Appen -flexibility, low- commitment etc, but I think it’s important for us all to remember that with such jobs you will never see your income increase over time.
In fact, if flexibility is your concern then you are better off getting into affiliate business which you’ll be able to continuously increase your income over time and could end up doing so full-time!
Affiliate marketing business not only doesn’t cost anything but also has many opportunities and several streams from where money flows into this type of work.
A Better Way To Make Money Online
It’s unfortunate that the vast majority of programs promising to help you make money online are either scams or a complete waste of time. I can say this confidently after exposing almost 200 of them here on my blog.
It is comforting to know that there are still some good programs out there that work for real- and one such place where beginners should start is Wealthy Affiliate. In my opinion, it’s by far best for anyone looking into getting started with an internet business from home (or anywhere else really!).
Wealthy Affiliate was created by experienced marketers for marketers. They know what it takes to succeed in this competitive industry and understand how difficult finding success can be without proper guidance. That’s why they put together all the essential tools, helpful resources and training on their website which will teach us everything we need to know when starting our businesses from scratch.
Look at these people, they are not some extraordinary genius, they are people just like you and me.
They all started their journey right here with this education program, which is a total package of knowledge, training, and strategies that will guide you from a complete newbie to an extraordinary marketer.
If you’re ready to start a side business to generate a passive online income, I highly recommend you give it a shot. You can start while working at your full-time job. When you start making some money from your online work, you can quit your job.
p/s : free membership tier available, no credit card info will be asked
What do you think about Appen or affiliate marketing? Share with me your thoughts in the comment section below!