When you think of online freelancing, the two most popular websites that come to mind are Elance.com and oDesk.com. I have even mentioned the two websites in a recent post. Today, Elance and Odesk publicly announced that the two companies would be merging. This has raised both much excitement and many concerns. In this article, I will be discussing the pros and cons of this merge as well as how it may affect the clients and the freelancers.
1. Better technology and results
In the address that Gary Swart (oDesk’s CEO) released, he states that the merge will include “more successful hiring, seamless online collaboration, better mobile support and freelancer skills development.” This will definitely help freelancers who want to reach both companies.
2. More jobs
Swart also said that they hope the merge will increase the number of clients on the website, therefore adding more jobs for the freelancers. If there were to be more jobs, the competition for jobs might decrease.
3. Less work for clients and freelancers
Even though both of the sites will remain separate, there will most likely be an option for both the clients and the freelancers to either work on both platforms or at least recruit people from both platforms. This could be helpful for those who are trying to get jobs on both of the websites. There may not be a full merge in terms of the websites, but there will hopefully be a merge among the features.
1. Some features may change
Just as stated before, there may be a change among the features of the websites. If this happens, this may take a toll on those who depend on these websites for income. It is very unlikely that this toll would be very severe but there is a chance that people might be exposed and have to adapt to things that they are not used to.
2. May turn into a monopoly
In the comment section of the announcement by oDesk, someone wrote: “Only one word – Tragedy. Elance is a greedy platform, now they join with Odesk, so… same with happen with Odesk. It is becoming some kind of freelance monopoly. There will be two companies operating – Elance + Odesk and Freelacer (they sux totally!). This is a really bad news for every freelancer out there…” This response seems to be very popular in the comment section. Many believe that their chances of getting hired for a job will be cut by 50% and that the companies will change for the worse.
It seems that only time can tell what will happen with this merge. All we can count on for now is that the two companies will at least provide similar services just like they always have.