Google has launched Taskmate, a crowdsourcing app, in Kenya. The app allows users to register and perform a set of tasks and get paid. Google launched the Beta version of the app for experiment purposes in Kenya last year and is now rolling it out to various markets across the globe.
“Today we have launched TaskMate, and it’s the first time we have opened it in Africa and across the world,” said TaskMate product manager, Mike Knapp.
The tasks on the app include translation, photography, surveys and local service ads. Payment is in form of rewards and fees for skilled and unskilled tasks. The tasks are categorized as sitting or field tasks. During the pilot in Kenya last year, users were asked to perform tasks including taking photos of plants for a research project carried out by Penn State University.
“We went to a pilot phase where we had 1,000 people use the app, and they gave very positive feedback. And so now we’ve moved to the beta phase. And we’re really experimenting at a bigger level at this point,” said Knapp.
“And we’re looking for businesses and startups to come and experiment with us on the platform, to see how this can help them solve the difficult problems that they’re working on,” he said.
Businesses posting tasks on the platform have the option of making it available to a select group of people or can invite specific people to carry it out. TaskMate users in Kenya withdraw the money earned through mobile-money payment platform M-Pesa, run by Safaricom, the biggest telecommunication company in the East Africa region.
“This is a crowdsourcing platform that simplifies the distribution and accomplishments of tasks from business, for businesses and organizations. It is also an app that provides opportunities to Kenyans, whether it’s community building or earning extra income. This is Google’s commitment to build for and with Africa, in its digital transformation journey” he said.
The Taskmate launch happened amid Google’s announcement of a $10 million loan to boost small businesses in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.