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In the world of side hustles and gig economy jobs, microtask platforms like Toloka provide a flexible way to earn extra income in your spare time.
Toloka connects businesses with a global network of freelancers to outsource simple, repetitive digital tasks that humans can do better than computers. Known as “Tolokers”, these freelancers complete a wide variety of microtasks and get paid small amounts per task.
But is Toloka a legit and worthwhile way to make money online in 2024? Can the average person realistically use Toloka as a part-time income stream?
This comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to know about earning with Toloka, including how the platform works, task types, payment structure, tips to maximize earnings, safety, and more.
Whether you’re looking for a side gig to supplement your income or want to fully replace your 9-to-5, read on to find out if Toloka is right for you!
What is Toloka?
Founded in 2014, Toloka is a Russian microtask crowdsourcing platform that connects businesses with freelance workers around the world. The name “Toloka” comes from the Russian word for “multitude.”
Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Snapchat and BMW use Toloka for data annotation, content moderation, transcription, market research surveys, SEO evaluation and more. These organizations can tap into Toloka’s on-demand global workforce of over 11 million freelancers in 100+ countries.
Tolokers, or Toloka workers, complete small tasks called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) and get paid for each task completed correctly. The flexible microtask model allows workers to do projects on their own schedule from anywhere with an internet connection.
How Does Toloka Work?
Here’s an overview of how Toloka’s crowdsourcing platform functions:
- Businesses submit projects: Companies submit projects explaining the tasks they need freelancers to complete. This includes task types, number of assignments, requirements, and price per task.
- Toloka reviews the project: Toloka checks that the project follows their ethical guidelines and compensates workers fairly before approving it.
- Tasks get distributed to Tolokers: Once approved, the tasks are made available to Tolokers in the platform’s task feed.
- Tolokers complete tasks: Workers choose tasks of interest and complete them at their own pace according to the project requirements. Tasks typically take from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
- Submit work for review: After finishing the tasks, Tolokers submit their work for review by either Toloka’s AI moderation system or the business.
- Get paid for correct submissions: If the completed tasks meet the accuracy criteria, Tolokers earn the advertised per-task rate. Earnings get credited to their Toloka account balance.
This crowdsourced model benefits both businesses and workers. Companies get fast, affordable results from on-demand global talent. Meanwhile, Tolokers gain paid opportunities to earn income, sharpen skills and gain professional experience.
Requirements to Join Toloka
The main requirements to join Toloka are:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have an Android, iOS or desktop device
- Provide your name, email, country, and payment method
- Verify your identity with phone or documents
Fluency in English is an asset since most tasks are in English, though some projects are available in other languages too.
Workers should also have good attention to detail, follow instructions carefully, meet reasonable speed and accuracy criteria, and maintain high ratings.
Fortunately, no prior experience or educational background is required. Toloka welcomes workers from all backgrounds, skill levels and education. Their rating and skills verification system matches workers with suitable tasks.
Creating a Toloka Account
Signing up for Toloka is easy and completely free. Just follow these steps:
- Go to Toloka’s website and click “Sign Up”. Provide your name, email, password and country of residence.
- Verify your email by clicking the link Toloka sends you. Log in on desktop or mobile.
- Complete your profile with payment and identification details. This helps Toloka verify your identity and send you earnings.
- Take the entrance exam to assess your abilities in following instructions, accuracy, speed, and quality. This unlocks higher paying tasks.
- Download the Toloka app (optional). This lets you quickly complete tasks from your phone.
- Set your skills to get matched with suitable tasks. Add languages you know, areas of expertise, etc.
Once set up, you can start browsing available tasks in your feed and begin earning!
Completing Tasks and Earning on Toloka
Tolokers get paid for each task they successfully complete. Here are some key points about the workflow:
- New tasks become available on a first-come, first-served basis. Check the task feed frequently for new additions.
- Tasks range from a few minutes to an hour, though most are very quick microtasks. Work on tasks that match your skills and interests.
- Follow the instructions carefully for each task. Precision and attention to detail are important.
- Tasks are submitted to either a client reviewer or Toloka’s AI for approval. You earn once your work is approved.
- Metrics like your accuracy, speed, ratings andOverlap determine the tasks you qualify for. Improve these to unlock higher paying work.
- You don’t have to commit to a certain number of tasks. Just work at your own pace whenever it’s convenient.
Types of Toloka Tasks
Toloka offers an immense variety of microtasks across different categories, including:
Data Annotation – Label images, videos or text data to train AI systems. Example: Identify objects in a photo.
Content Moderation – Moderate inappropriate or harmful content. Example: Flag offensive comments.
Surveys – Provide opinions through research surveys, polls and questionnaires.
Information Gathering – Find online data points and compile research results. Example: Search engine keyword research.
Data Entry – Transcribe audio, enter data from images into categories. Example: Extract text from a scanned receipt.
SEO and Marketing – Evaluate search engine results pages and website content. Example: Website optimization analysis.
Product Labeling – Add relevant metadata tags to ecommerce products. Example: Classify product category and attributes.
Sentiment Analysis – Gauge sentiment, topics and trends from text, comments or reviews.
Translation – Translate text-based content from one language to another.
New types of tasks are constantly being added in areas like retail, autonomous vehicles, finance and more. There’s lots of variety to choose from.
Toloka Payment Structure
Toloka has a tiered payment structure based on worker performance:
- Level C (Entry) – For new Tolokers. Task rates start from $0.01.
- Level B (Intermediate) – Unlocked after gaining experience. Tasks from $0.02 – $0.08.
- Level A (Advanced) – Unlocked by excellent performance and ratings. Tasks from $0.05 – $0.30.
- Level AA (Expert) – Unlocked by invitation only. Highest paying tasks from $0.20 – $1.00.
So as you complete more tasks and improve your metrics, you qualifly for higher quality work and increased pay rates.
Toloka has two account balances:
- Main balance – Funds here can be withdrawn anytime to your payment method.
- Temporary balance – Funds here are pending final approval before you can withdraw them.
Always maintain high accuracy and performance to get yourTemporary funds approved to your main balance faster.
Tips for Maximizing Earnings on Toloka
Here are some top tips from experienced Tolokers for earning more on the platform:
- Take the entrance exam to gain access to better tasks right away. Doing well reflects positively on your profile.
- Set your skills accurately so you qualify for suitable, higher paying tasks.
- Only do tasks you’re confident about so you maintain high accuracy ratings. Avoid newer task types with a steep learning curve.
- Work during peak times when the most HITs are posted, like mornings and evenings.
- Qualify for closed qualiflcation tasks by excelling at related open tasks first.
- Communicate with clients directly if issues arise so your work isn’t rejected unfairly.
- Check ratings frequently and aim for at least 4-stars on all tasks. This unlocks higher pay rates.
- Cash out earnings regularly to avoid account suspension from inactivity. You can cash out many times per day.
Toloka vs Other Microtask Platforms
How does Toloka compare to other popular microtask and side hustle platforms?
- Huge selection of tasks across diverse categories
- Strong focus on data annotation and AI training
- Open to workers globally with no application process
- Entrance exam provides feedback on worker abilities
- Tasks range from simple to more complex
Amazon Mechanical Turk
- Focused primarily on simple, repetitive microtasks
- Requires US social security number and tax info
- Mostly open to US workers only
- Fast approval but very low pay for most tasks
- Specializes in speech data, search engine and social media evaluation
- Requires skills assessment and has a selective application process
- Mostly project-based work rather than microtasks
- Provides higher pay but less task variety
- Freelance services marketplace for longer term projects
- Requires building client base and portfolio over time
- Higher earning potential but need marketing and sales skills
- More complex service offerings like design, writing, programming
So Toloka strikes a nice balance between open accessibility, task variety, earning potential and microtask flexibility.
Is Toloka Legit and Safe to Use?
Yes, Toloka is a legitimate platform used by both individuals and major corporations. Here’s why it can be considered safe for workers:
- Established company: Toloka has been in business since 2014 and has strong VC backing.
- Audited by accountants: Toloka’s finances and payouts are audited annually by accounting firms like Deloitte.
- Secure infrastructure: The platform uses industry-standard encryption and data protection.
- Trusted by leading brands: Reputable multinationals like Amazon, Microsoft and BMW trust Toloka.
- No fees to join: Signing up and working on Toloka is always free for workers. There are no membership fees.
- No penalties: You are not obligated to complete a certain number of tasks. There are no penalties for inactivity.
- Control over private data: You choose what personal data to provide and tasks don’t ask for sensitive private details.
- Direct payouts: Earnings are credited directly to your chosen payment method, not to intermediaries.
So Toloka employs security measures to protect user data and takes steps to ensure a safe, credible platform. But as with any online platform, staying vigilant is still advised.
The Pros and Cons of Working on Toloka
- Flexible microtasks with no minimum hour requirements
- Large global marketplace with steady task supply
- Tasks are straightforward and don’t require special skills
- Income is predictable based on number of tasks completed
- Gets you paid quickly via PayPal, bank transfer, gift cards
- Very large worker pool means you compete for the best tasks
- Task variety depends on client needs, which constantly changes
- Need to build up skills, ratings and get qualified for better work
- Low barriers to entry means more competition from other workers
- Tedious nature of microtasks may cause burnout over time
For anyone looking to turn their spare time into extra income, Toloka provides a low-barrier way to gain paid microtasking experience and supplement earnings.
The variety of projects, flexibility to work anytime, global accessibility and quick payments make Toloka a compelling option. But the platform is best suited for those with patience, attention to detail, good time management skills and who enjoy repetitive online tasks.
Since Toloka is free to join, it doesn’t hurt to sign up and evaluate if the microtasking model aligns with your abilities and income goals. Just go in with realistic expectations around the competitive nature of tasks and how earnings directly correlate with your personal performance.
With the right expectations and approach, Toloka can be a rewarding method for generating side income from anywhere at your own pace.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much can you make on Toloka?
Earnings depend heavily on your country, time commitment, skills and performance. Most Tolokers make $2 – $10 USD per hour, while top performers can average up to $15+ per hour.
When do you get paid by Toloka?
You can request payouts any time via PayPal, Payoneer, T73, WebMoney and other methods. Payouts are usually processed within 24 hours.
Can you get banned from Toloka?
Yes, you can get temporarily or permanently banned for very poor accuracy ratings, violations of Toloka’s rules or fraudulent behavior. Maintaining high quality work and ratings helps avoid this.
Is there an app to do Toloka tasks on mobile?
Yes, Toloka has a free app for both iOS and Android so you can conveniently complete tasks from your phone.
Can I do Toloka full time as a career?
Most Toloka workers use it part-time for supplemental income. Doing it full time is possible but challenging due to the task competition and risk of burnout. Having other income streams or projects in addition to Toloka is recommended over relying on Toloka tasks alone.