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social media manager working on his laptop

How many hours a day do you spend on social media? Most of us are afraid to even start counting. Especially because we perceive most of it as a partial, if not complete, waste of time. That’s why many people are thrilled at the opportunity to convert that time and energy into a money-making machine. And one of the ways to do that is working as a social media evaluator for Appen.

But what exactly does this job entail? Is it an actual job or just a part-time gig that would open up a way for you to clear your guilty conscience? Finally, does it pay enough that you can ditch your regular 9-5 job? Let’s find out together!

First Off, Is Appen Legit?

Being one of the world’s leading companies that specialize in machine learning and artificial intelligence training, Appen is most definitely legit. They’ve come a long way since their foundation in 1996. After going public in 2015, they acquired a multitude of crowdsourcing platforms such as Figure Eight, Mendip Media Group, Leapforce. If you want to learn more about the company’s history, they even have a Wikipedia page. (Okay, everybody can have one nowadays. But it’s a really nice page, wink wink!)

Now, this particular position has quite a few testimonials on Glassdoor, with an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Judging by those, it’s far from being a perfect job opportunity, but it’s still good enough to meet your basic needs.

It seems that the most common complaints tackle the feast-and-famine cycles, repetitive and drab assignments, as well as lousy communication with the company. On the positive side, people say that the work is easy, the schedule flexible, and the pay decent. What more does a person need for happiness?

Well, let’s not just dismiss the negatives all too easily. When you take a look at the negative user reviews on Indeed, your prospects as a worker are getting even more gloomy.

appen review page testimonial

How Does It Work?

To try and get into the system, first you need to check out their Careers page, where all the job openings are categorized into four groups:

  • Raters (social media evaluators being among those)
  • Language jobs (transcription, translation, linguistics)
  • Micro tasks (easy tasks that shouldn’t take more than an hour each, for example annotation, descriptions etc.)
  • Corporate jobs (office jobs revolving around marketing, sales, finance, engineering)

appen job opportunities page

The first three categories only require you to be “self-motivated and internet savvy”.

After choosing either of the first three options, you will have to fill out a form with your basic details (name, address, country, languages).

Next, make sure to copy/paste links to your social media profiles. As a social media evaluator, you will need to prove you’re an active user who has a certain number of friends or followers as a minimum. It might be 50, 100 or 200 – the requirements will vary depending on what they currently need. You will also need to accept their Terms & Conditions and upload your resume.

All of that is simple enough, but it’s not all you need to do. The next stage will most likely include a couple proficiency tests, the nature of which will depend on the position you’ve applied for. When or if you pass them, they may offer you a NDA. Only if you sign it and complete the training will they allow you to start working. And all of that may take a few weeks or even months.

You should also keep in mind that you’d work as an independent contractor. It means that taxes, sick leave, healthcare, social security etc. are your responsibility. You are NOT an Appen employee, so you can’t expect any perks and benefits! Alas, flexibility comes at a price.

What Does a Social Media Evaluator Do?

The “title” says it all. As a social media evaluator, your job is to evaluate various social media postings. The gist is to make sure they are relevant and represent the company in the best light.

So, you’ll basically need to know your way around various social media and be able to use all of their functionalities. There will also be instructions and guidelines that you have to adhere to. But most of the time you really have to rely on your gut feeling.

How Much Can You Earn as an Appen Social Media Evaluator?

There is no exact way to determine an average hourly rate due to the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that prevents most people from revealing the exact sums. Online accounts also vary. A Reddit user claims that experienced evaluators can snag anything between $9 and $13.50 per project. I’ve even heard that you can get up to $1,000 per month if you work four hours a day, six days a week. However, I would take this info with a grain of salt.

Advantages

  • They accept people from all walks of life and every corner on earth. Which means that almost everyone is eligible and qualified enough to get in, provided they have a computer and smartphone, and are regular social media users.
  • Arrange your own schedule! You’re free to work whenever you want, from wherever you want, as long as you manage to meet the prearranged number of hours per day or week.
  • The pay seems to be decent considering how easy the assignments are. People mention $9 to $13.50 per project, which will of course depend on its complexity, the amount of time it takes to complete it, but also your state and experience level.
  • Payment methods include direct bank transfer, PayPal, and Payoneer. Which is basically all you’ll ever need when it comes to remote work!
  • Social media evaluator is just one of many positions they are recruiting for. You can also work as a search engine evaluator, transcriber, translator, microworker, and more.

Disadvantages

  • You can’t hope for a steady and consistent amount of work. It all really depends on the amount of projects available. Therefore, you should expect periods with almost no work. Not exactly what your mortgage needs!
  • Boring, boring, boring! Okay, I know that most crowdsourcing gigs and projects tend to be that way. But it’s only fair to let you know what you’re signing up for.
  • It appears it’s easy to get kicked out for any reason – or none at all. At least that’s what some users complain about.
  • The application process is long, has several stages, and you may not get in. As I wrote above, they will probably test you more than once. And that’s followed by a training – which isn’t paid. It may frustrate you, especially if you fail, having wasted weeks or even months.
  • Lousy support is one of the most common complaints. Disgruntled users claim they’ve been ignored for weeks on end. Some even say they didn’t get their pay.
  • Working as an independent contractor has serious downsides. Basically, you only have duties without any rights whatsoever. Are you sick? Who cares! And if you plan on retiring before you hit 80, that’s your own problem.

Conclusion – Should You Contemplate Becoming a Social Media Evaluator for Appen?

In recent years, crowdsourcing platforms such as Amazon mTurk or Clickworker have gained notoriety for miserable pay and downright exploitation of their microworkers. When compared to those lowest of standards, it seems that Appen is light years ahead.

However, I wouldn’t just dismiss the many negative testimonials and recommend you to dive in without a moment’s thought. If you need some extra cash, it’s safe to give it a shot. But don’t expect miracles – after all, digital workers are expendable on the global scale. And that’s why companies aren’t used to treating them well.