It’s the beginning of the end of Elance.
The Upwork platform has announced it would be shutting down Elance beginning next month, and migrating its community over to its home site.
In a letter to clients, Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel wrote:
“Upwork has already proven to be a rewarding marketplace for clients who are able to hire more quickly from a larger pool of experienced freelancers. We’re also working to deliver innovations to hire more rapidly: mobile apps are now available for iOS and Android and a new messaging tool enables real-time collaboration.”
Upwork has its roots in Elance and oDesk, two freelancing platforms that merged in late 2013. Last year, the company announced it was rebranding itself as “Upwork” but allowing Elance to continue on as a stand-alone site operated by Upwork.
Kasriel outlined the transition like this:
- In early August, new customers will no longer be allowed to register with Elance.
- Starting in September, Upwork will limit clients ability to post new jobs on Elance. “We’ll make it easy to continue working with your current freelancers from Elance—you can find and rehire them from your My Jobs page on Upwork,” Kasriel wrote on the company blog. “We’ll also provide you with new possibilities as you take advantage of new Upwork features like our real-time collaboration tool and mobile apps to explore new talent available on Upwork.”
- Current projects will still be active on Elance through early 2016. “However, we encourage you to begin all new contracts on Upwork and move existing contracts to Upwork when possible,” Kasriel said.
- Users should still be able to access files, contacts and messages on Elance through mid-2016.
- Invitations to join Upwork, if you haven’t received one already, should arrive by September 1.
Kasriel said that he was making the announcement with mixed emotions. He explained:
“Like you, many of us have had a long and happy history with Elance. At the same time, I’m excited that our entire team can now focus completely on improving a single online workplace.”
Upwork had said earlier this year it would transition to a single freelancing service, and that Elance would likely be absorbed into Upwork.
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