LinkedIn is reportedly planning to launch a new service this fall where users can find and hire freelance professionals.
A report from The Information credits “two people with direct knowledge of the matter” with providing details about LinkedIn Marketplaces.
Marketplaces is being created to compete directly with other freelance hiring sites such as Upwork and Fiverr. Current plans are to launch the service as soon as September.
Work on LinkedIn Marketplaces is said to have begun in October 2019, which is when LinkedIn acquired assets of a startup called UpCounsel that connected freelance lawyers with businesses.
Former CEO of UpCounsel, Matt Faustman, is now leading the team responsible for developing Marketplaces.
Although LinkedIn has not officially announced details of Marketplaces, Faustman publicly displays on his own profile that he’s been working on the project since October 2019.
The Information received a statement from a LinkedIn spokesperson saying the pandemic has lead to an increase in demand for freelance workers.
More people are searching for and requesting services from freelancers on LinkedIn, with particular demand for executive coaching, marketing, design, and software developement.
“In the future we’ll be building new ways to share more about the services you [could] offer directly through your LinkedIn profile,” the spokesperson says.
In addition to searching through a marketplace of freelancers, users will be able to post their own proposals to attract freelancers for specific jobs. When work is completed clients can post a review of the freelancer they hired.
Marketplaces has the potential to grow LinkedIn’s user base and open new revenue streams. Clients will be able to compare rates and book freelancers directly on the site.
LinkedIn is expected to take a cut of the transactions facilitated through Marketplaces. The company is also considering letting freelancers pay for ads.
The launch of Marketplaces will almost be a way for freelancers to finally monetize the time they spend making connections on LinkedIn.
Making the right connections on LinkedIn requires a combination of traditional networking, as well as creating content such as posts, articles, and videos. That’s a lot of unpaid work.
There’s never been a way for users to get paid directly from LinkedIn, but it appears the company may be headed in that direction.
A post from LinkedIn’s Editor-in-Cheif, Daniel Roth, shows that the company recognizes the value of its content creators.
Roth is hiring a leader to build a team that will enable creators to “have an even bigger impact” on the platform.
We're building out our creator management team and I'm hiring someone senior to lead it. Is that you? Got any great candidates to recommend? Please let me know! https://t.co/RG9V3vdJUy
1/ Why creators? A short thread:
— Daniel Roth (@danroth) February 12, 2021
The job posting for LinkedIn’s new Head of Community position indicates the company is developing strategies to retain content creators.
“We’re starting a community management team to support and grow our content creators, with the mission to source, nurture, uplevel and retain these important voices. Creators’ sets off incredible ripples, helping others find their community and develop their own voice. The more people who give and get help, the faster we all grow.”
Will one of those retention methods include monetary incentives?
Social networks paying users for content is not as unusual as it might sound. Snapchat was recently paying out $1 million a day to creators to bolster the use of a new feature. ATikTok established a creator fund last year that paid out $200 million to US users.
LinkedIn may be next to invest in creators, which could be another way for users to make money in addition to Marketplaces.
Source: The Information