This is the ultimate Lionbridge vs Appen comparison guide. Keep reading to discover what makes each platform unique. Which one should you work for?
The internet opened the floodgates for freelancing, forcing even the most traditional jobs to adjust for the new breed of professionals that wouldn’t work in an office to save their careers.
But it did more than just accommodate professionals. It created new jobs as well and made it possible for even the unskilled to earn working remotely.
I’m talking about crowdsourcing jobs. These task-based assignments are gaining popularity by the day, and dedicated freelance platforms are emerging left, right, and center to exploit the growing industry.
Sadly, not all these platforms are honest or friendly to freelancers. Some are blatant scam sites. Others are unnavigable, while an embarrassment of them are too limiting to merit a shot.
This Lionbridge vs Appen comparison didn’t just cross my mind. It was inspired by the observation that these two are among the most popular micro jobs platforms and the subsequent conclusion they are also among the best.
I could be wrong, but if you ever wondered which one was better, that’s what this article is about.
What is Lionbridge?
Lionbridge is one of the oldest crowdsourcing companies in the game, which in itself speaks volumes about the company’s authority and legitimacy.
It has been around for over two decades and is a partner of many companies seeking to strengthen their bond with their customers.
Its vast job pool caters to a population of 1 million crowd workers and a client base of thousands, among them Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Nike, JP Morgan, Rolls Royce, and Coca-Cola.
All these behemoths must have seen something, no? Well, yes, and the platform’s great PR was not achieved at the expense of worker interests. Forbes recognized Lionbridge as one of the best large employers in 2019, and Flexjobs said the same thing in 2021.
Given the ranking was largely based on user reviews, it would be safe to say Lionbridge takes care of its employees and independent contractors.
What is Appen?
Appen is considered a data crowdsourcing leading light. With a client base comprising the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon and a labor force of 1 million contractors, you’d see why it is so esteemed.
The platform continuously invites freelancers to apply for the many opportunities it offers. The opportunities are distributed across massive intricacy and pay spectrums and accommodate all experience levels.
Ideal Appen candidates are internet-savvy individuals with an interest in online research and some acquaintance with the following jobs:
- Social media evaluation
- Speech evaluation
- Video annotation
- Survey and data collection
All Appen candidates must be 18+ years old and possess excellent research and analytical skills. A computer running Google’s Chrome browser and up-to-date anti-spyware and anti-virus software are also needed.
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Lionbridge vs Appen: The Sign-Up Process
Getting accepted as a remote worker is generally easier on Appen than Lionbridge. Partially, that’s because the latter gives you access to better-paying and longer-term opportunities, which demand superior skill.
How to sign up for Lionbridge
While you don’t need an account to view jobs on Lionbridge, you need to sign up to receive emails about new jobs that you might do.
To set up an account, open the Lionbridge website and click Join Our Team.
This page will open:
Click LEARN MORE under any of the categories.
Click ALL OPEN PROJECTS and then open any one project you see on the list. Ignore the application and click SIGN UP NOW on the right side of your screen.
Next, you will be asked to provide your name and email address and upload your resume. The subsequent onboarding section is split into seven sections, each with a detailed form that you must fill out before proceeding to the next one.
You need to be at least 18 years old to be eligible to join Lionbridge.
Applications take less than five minutes to complete if you have your CV and details on hand. Approval, on the hand, can take anything from a few days to several weeks.
How to sign up for Appen
Appen uses a platform known as Appen Connect to manage contributors working remotely on projects. It’s also where candidate recruitment takes place.
So, to get started, open the Appen Connect page and click Apply Now or Apply.
A registration form will appear, and you will be required to enter your name, email, password, and country of residence.
A code will then be sent to your email, which you will enter to complete the account registration process. But you won’t be given access to all projects until you are done customizing your profile.
Click Complete Profile to get on with the profile setup.
The subsequent forms are about your location, education, and experience.
Appen will use this information to determine your eligibility to be part of its crowd. That will take around two weeks. The approval or rejection email will be sent to your email address.
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Lionbridge vs Appen: Entrance Examination
The Lionbridge exam is a category-specific exam that candidates take to apply for positions on the platform. It’s a fairly difficult 3-part exam that approximately 90 percent of candidates fail.
Luckily, it is not a prerequisite to join Lionbridge. Only people that wish to be considered for projects (not micro jobs) are required to take and pass it.
Part 1 is a theory exam with 128 true/false questions. Parts 2 and 3 test your practical knowledge and are understandably more difficult.
The exam can take 8-20 hours to complete, and that excludes the time you will spend reading the 160-230-page guideline.
Results for the first and second parts of the exams come in almost immediately after you submit your answers.
The third part’s results, for some reason, come approximately 24 hours after the submission due date, which is seven days from the day you receive your exam invitation.
So it doesn’t matter how fast you finish the exam. As long as you beat the deadline, you will know whether you passed or failed at around the same time you would if you submitted everything on the first day.
And what if you fail? Well, Lionbridge, in clear acknowledgment of the exam’s complexity, gives you a second shot. You can always send an email to request a retake if it’s not automatically offered to you.
Appen has its own qualification test, which isn’t as difficult as Lionbridge’s. However, every candidate has to do it, meaning entrance into Appen might actually be harder than Lionbridge.
Once you are done registering your account, Appen will send you this email:
The Appen Connect link takes you to the handful of projects you can apply for as a beginner. Make sure to pick projects that align with the qualification and experience in your CV. Otherwise, you will almost certainly get rejected.
Appen Arrow projects, which target search engine evaluators, require you to state the company you are currently working for. Most candidates don’t qualify because of this prerequisite.
The other projects are more straightforward and will be an NDA away from opening.
You won’t start working immediately, though. Instead, you will be placed on a waiting list while the Appen team reviews your qualification.
Here’s the message that displayed on my screen when I completed my maiden project application:
Up to here, you are only halfway through the qualification process. The platform pledges to invite you to get on with it afterward, when you will validate your smartphone and take an internal qualification quiz.
According to these users on Indeed, you can receive a response immediately, after six months, or anytime in between.
Generally, working on your first paying project after the initial registration will take longer on Appen than on Lionbridge. Lionbridge’s exam is, however, more complicated.
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Lionbridge vs Appen: Payment Options
All Lionbridge payments are made via wire transfer. While this may seem unreceptive of a company trying its best to attain international success, those who can receive money via wire transfer enjoy plenty of protection against exorbitant transaction fees.
An indiscriminate downside is that the company pays out only once every month. And the money earned over a month isn’t paid in the same month or even in the following one. Work done in January, for instance, will be paid for in March at the earliest.
Apparently, after you have submitted your work, it isn’t approved until early the following month. Invoices are generated about a week after the approval and paid 30 business days later.
Appen, like Lionbridge, pays its contractors monthly, with Invoices being generated on the first day of each month.
Each agent is expected to review their auto-generated invoice and propose any changes. If you have no disputes, funds will be transferred to your Payoneer account within two weeks of the finance department approving your invoice.
Just for the fact that Appen takes about a month less to process invoices makes it the winner of the Lionbridge vs Appen comparison on this front.
Lionbridge vs Appen: Earning Potential
How much can you make on Lionbridge? Even for contractors doing the same tasks and working the same work hours, there is no specific amount of money they are guaranteed to make. Tasks are priced differently, mostly depending on their intricacy.
Your location and skills dictate your overall earning potential. People in first-tier countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Europe may get as much as double what a contractor from a developing country would make for the same amount of work.
That said, on average, Lionbridge pays $10-$15 per hour, which is higher than many rival crowd-sourcing and micro job platforms are willing to pay.
Many reviews seem to agree with this Redditor, who’s contented with the compensation for their services at Lionbridge:
On Appen, the pay rate is $3-$20 per hour, and candidates are informed about it before they take their qualification exam.
Although the median pay for many projects is between $12 and $16, these “high-paying” projects do not pop up every hour and ambitious contractors cannot really rely on them. Most resort to doing the more available micro tasks, which pay less than 10 cents per job.
Like Lionbridge, Appen considers location when deciding pay rates. Indian contractors earn between $3 and $3.5 per hour, while their American and European counterparts earn $10-$14 and $14-$16, respectively.
The idea is to pay every contractor at least minimum wage for their country of origin.
Globally, Lionbridge pays its contractors better than Appen. According to some people, the company offers a better work environment too.
Lionbridge vs Appen: Customer Support
Crowdsourcing tasks are usually quite easy once you get the hang of the general requirements.
It won’t be so easy at the beginning, though, as you might find yourself wanting to contact customer support now and again.
Lionbridge didn’t have many good reviews on customer support. I wanted to believe this was because many people didn’t get their applications approved, but that was far from the case. Most of the negative reviews were actually from users who already worked on the platform.
Here are examples:
As usual, there were some people, like this one here, who went against the grain:
Appen has an overall lower rating on Trustpilot, so I wasn’t shocked when I found these complaints about its customer support:
Job boards and freelance platforms tend to have terrible customer support, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you or influence your plans to join Appen or Lionbridge.
Instead, ensure you understand how each platform works beforehand to reduce your need for the support’s help.
Lionbridge vs Appen: Verdict
Lionbridge is harder to join but better paying. Appen is easier to join but pays less. There are also more opportunities on Lionbridge, but many are only available to people with specific qualifications.
While this subtly suggests that Appen is better for micro jobs that don’t require prior skill, I still reckon higher pay rates, a responsive website, and quicker payouts make a job site better. So my winner of the Lionbridge vs Appen comparison is without a doubt Lionbridge.