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oDesk Announced Two New Features

It’s almost a year since odesk and Elance came together to form a single company. Over the past 12 months oDesk has done many considerable things for freelancers community like Escrow (give freelancers a better, more secure way to get paid on fixed-price projects) and the new mobile app (for freelancers and clients to communicate on the go). Today oDesk announces two additional solutions to help access more opportunities. oDesk planned to roll these solutions out gradually over the next several weeks.

Here are the two new solutions:

1. Helping great freelancers connect with clients more successfully

Today oDesk introduced “Connects” a new system of applying to jobs that will replace the weekly job application quota. Connects are virtual tokens you need to submit in order to apply for a job. By default, every freelancer will get a monthly allotment of 60 Connects, which is lower than the quota you’re used to.

Odesk believes that by lowering freelancers’s quota of applying for job there will be fewer unnecessary applications and most freelancers will only apply to jobs they are truly interested in and qualified for. Freelancers will be competing against a smaller and more relevant pool of applicants, increasing chances of getting hired only with the best fit. If a client invites you to apply or is rehiring you, you won’t need to use any Connects. All other applications will need anywhere from 1 to 5 Connects (2 on average), depending on factors such as the size and type of job.

Odesk said that we careful choose this quota large enough for most new and experienced freelancers to continue to succeed on oDesk.

2. Announcing membership plans for more active freelancers and agencies

Odesk also created optional paid membership plans for highly active community members. By default, everyone automatically will be on a free Basic membership plan, which comes with 60 Connects that was explained above and with the core tools to succeed on oDesk.

The other plan includes “Plus membership”, which will give users more Connects, the ability to roll over the Connects, visibility into what freelancers are bidding, and other premium features. The plans can be changeable at any time.

What these new feature meant to the freelancers?

These are the two new features that oDesk announced today. What we think that these plans will may be good for the freelancers out there but most of the freelancers some newbies might not like these new features because the limited number of connects will be problem for them. Not every new freelancer get jobs on his first application. So when the’ll loose 20 – 30 connects and no response from the other end obviously this will give them a hard time. The second feature is just like same new users might not want to upgrade to the plan. oDesk already is taking its cut when some client pay to freelancers. In addition to this Now oDesk wants freelancers to pay for some premium plans. So these plans will used by only those freelancers with good amount of experience and clients.

Lets see how oDesk will keep up its market for the new freelancers. As many of the new freelancing sites are already in the market providing free stuff and good features what oDesk calls them Premium features.