If you recently stepped out into the wilderness of online world to make some extra bucks, you might have come across a site called Figure Eight. Formerly known as CrowdFlower, it’s a crowdsourcing platform that trains AI (artificial intelligence) harnessing the power of collective human intelligence. In return, these numerous humans get certain rewards. What kind of rewards are we talking about – and how to get your hands on them? This Figure Eight review is here to provide answers to all the relevant questions.
But before we dive into the particulars, let’s see what crowdsourcing is all about.
Here’s how the drill usually goes. Countless users complete small, mindless tasks such as annotating or labeling images and videos, transcribing short recordings, counting objects on a photo. The results of these tasks help the machine algorithms to hone and refine their learning and observing skills.
How so? Aren’t machines so much smarter than us? Well, yes and no. They do have a far larger capacity and storage than any human brain could ever have. But they still haven’t attained subtlety and sense of nuance that humans have. When you feed them enough information, they will eventually learn the patterns and start imitating them.
Is Figure 8 Legit or Scam?
With get-paid-to sites, it’s usually tricky to determine if they are trustworthy or just another fishy, no-good case of online fraud. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Figure Eight. They even have a Wikipedia entry and a praiseworthy list of clients including Adobe, Cisco, Giphy, eBay, Oracle, and many more.
Like I said above, the platform used to carry the name of CrowdFlower. Then, in April 2018, they rebranded and changed their name and logo. Were those changes merely cosmetic in nature? And what did the users get from them besides a sleek and modern website? Judging by some user reviews and comments I dug out online, they didn’t get much if anything. But more on that later. For now, suffice it to say that there is no reason to worry about your personal info. You will never be asked for your credit card, nor will you have to pay a single cent to use the platform.
How Can I Start Earning on Figure Eight?
At first glance, it’s not very obvious how the site works and what exactly it does. Their sales pitch is entirely client-oriented, claiming that it helps “your AI projects work in the real world”.
But if you’re only there to make money, that’s definitely not what you’re looking for. Even so, you’ll still have to click the “Start a trial” button in the upper right corner.
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Do not, however, complete the signup form. That’s for clients, remember? Instead, scroll down until you see an option to become a contributor and complete microtasks.
Whew! Is it just me or are they really trying to discourage new “contributors” from joining? Otherwise, they would have made it easier to join. But let’s not make hasty conclusions before we sniff around some more.
Once you’re there, signing up as a contributor seems as simple as can be. The contact form will ask you to provide your basic contact info. Then, you need to confirm the account from your email, and connect your account to PayPal. Note, however, that the latter is optional – you can skip it now and revisit if you’re not comfortable with it.
As soon as I completed these steps, I got what looked like a dashboard. Alas, there was only one job available!
And it wasn’t very promising either. It consisted of a single task which would earn me one measly penny. When I clicked through, there was another contact form to fill in – and my username and password didn’t match!
So it turned out that I needed to sign up AGAIN. If this happens to you too, make sure to confirm that new account from email. Only then will you see the actual job dashboard.
Making Money on Figure Eight – Is It Possible at All?
All this hassle yielded no results – at least for me. The only thing my dashboard now showed were stats for my nonexistent jobs, as well as four absolutely useless “simple steps to getting started”. Oh, and their Twitter feed, under the handle @crowdflowercomm. (By the way, the account was created in January 2020, and has a total of two tweets and 38 followers. Sooooo professional!)
Back to the dashboard conundrum. What are those “Rewards sites of preference”? It seems that they work with third party sites that host those jobs. But what does it mean user-wise?
The live customer support didn’t seem to work at the moment, so I was left with the option to file a ticket. If and when they respond, I’ll be more than happy to update this article.
I combed through the documentation and learned that a few steps are mandatory before anyone can actually start earning. For example, verifying your phone number – which I was never asked for to begin with. Also, before getting any actual jobs, you are to complete a few test tasks. But how and where to track these down? Much as I tried, I really couldn’t tell from the panel itself.
So I turned to Google and did some research. It turns out that they ARE working with other rewards panels, Prize Rebel and Swagbucks being two of the most prominent. So, if you are a member there, you may happen to receive any Figure Eight tasks. Connect your accounts, and you’ll be good to go.
- They aren’t restrictive as to who can join. The only condition you have to meet is to be at least 18 years old. As for location, it seems that anyone can join, wherever they reside, unless they are in an area where it is “prohibited by U.S. or local governing law”.
- They pay via PayPal. And I couldn’t find a single mention of a cashout threshold, which is good.
- They appear to be hosting no jobs on the platform. Even though the site looks spotless, certain sections just don’t seem to work as of this writing. For starters, the job dashboard doesn’t contain any actual jobs, nor does it guide you where to go and get them. It took me an hour of digging around to learn that they work with numerous partner sites. I think I’m not a nagger if I say that it would be nice to make that clear and not withhold this critical information from their new users.
- Information is all over the place. I said it already and I’ll say it again – their new website looks really nice. But why is it so dysfunctional? Was it so hard to organize information better? Such as it is, a user has to waste hours of their time only to find out that there is nothing they can do here.
Conclusion – Does It Make Sense to Sign up With Figure Eight?
From what I’ve gathered, registering with this platform doesn’t make sense – at least for now. You’d be going through too much hassle while getting no earning opportunities in return. If you’re really into microwork as a way of supplementing your income, go to their partners’ sites straight ahead.
That is not to say that you shouldn’t accept Figure Eight assignments or tasks when or if you happen to get them. From what I’ve seen online, these tasks are usually worth mere cents, but that’s not very different from most microwork platforms I’ve seen. So, if that’s your cup of tea, feel free to have it. Keep in mind, though, that it won’t quench your thirst.
Some other crowdsourcing platforms are better in that they offer consistent stream of tasks. Think of Amazon Mechanical Turk or Clickworker. You won’t get rich there either, but you’ll at least be able to earn some pocket money. Or maybe even a subsistence if you happen to live in an underdeveloped country.