Facebook is planning to enter the gig economy platform business by letting its users find and book services through its app. The bold move could position the social media giant as a competitor to gig economy marketplaces such as TaskRabbit, Fiverr, and Angie’s List.
From home repairs to freelance jobs, such as tech support to web page content and design, the social network is building a team to focus on services, it was first reported on news site, The Information.
The platform is likely to be built into its Marketplace classifieds group which is similar to services such as Craigslist, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move signals Facebook’s growing ambition to be more of a force in online commerce, which it sees as a way to improve its ad targeting and diversify its business through payments.
According to Facebook, the company introduced Marketplace in 2016 and amassed 800 million global users within two years.
The global and continuing trend of remote working is propelling the freelance economy, according to studies, such as The Future Workforce study commissioned by Upwork, which reported that there is a correlation between a company being remote and a company hiring freelancers.
According to the report, before the COVID pandemic was widespread, 16.6% of companies that hired freelancers were remote with just 10.3% of companies that were not conducting remote work did not hire freelancers. At the time, only 12.3% of all companies were remote, but at the time of writing, this figure jas jumped to 41.8%.
With IR35 on the horizon in the UK, it is wise to speak to existing clients to ask what their position on hiring freelancers after March 2021 is so that you can opt for a different direction, in terms of the work or frequency you conduct work with said client or reaching out to platforms to scout new clients that can keep you outside of IR35, if that is the direction you have chosen.
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