Crowdsourcing is when a company uses a large pool of workers to complete simple tasks quickly and efficiently. Usually, these tasks require a human to complete them because a computer cannot handle them. The tasks tend to be repetitive and there are often too many individual task items for a single person or small in-house team at the company to handle.
Because the pool of workers is so large, a crowdsourced project gets done more quickly than an in-house project of the same scale. In some cases, it’s practically impossible to complete the tasks with available staff. As an example, a small advertising agency might be able to handle the product descriptions for a small catalog, but an online catalog for a major retailer might have over 500,000 products to describe, which would take a professional ad agency years to complete (and the products would likely change before they were done.) By crowdsourcing the work to something like 10,000- 50,000 product description writers, the entire catalog can be completed in a much shorter timeframe.
In addition to writing tasks, crowdsourced work may include things like looking up addresses of local businesses, searching for keywords, tagging photos, doing image searches, watching videos to count products that appear in the videos, or posting on social media sites.
Many companies and crowdsource brokers have popped up to connect companies that need a crowd of workers to the people who want to do these tasks for money. Amazon mTurk is one of the biggest crowdsourcing sites, but there are plenty of others as well. There’s so much crowdsourcing work available these days that some workers use crowdsourced work as their primary income.
All you need to start doing crowdsourced work is a computer and an internet connection. Some companies require you to take tests or have a proven track record of work to access higher-paying jobs, while basic jobs are open to all.