A beta version of Google's Task Mate app was launched in Kenya after a year-long experiment in the country. [Photo/ Task Mate]
A beta version of Google's Task Mate app was launched in Kenya after a year-long experiment in the country. [Photo/ Task Mate]

Google this week launched a beta version of its Task Mate app in Kenya. Task Mate is a crowdsourcing app that allows users to sign up on their smartphones, undertake tasks and get paid.

The app is available on Play Store. As Business Today established, downloading and signing up on the app in Kenya puts one on a wait-list. Users are to be notified once tasks are posted on the app.

Google is keen on partnering with businesses among other organizations to help them solve some of their challenges with Task Mate.

The app is expected to offer a wide range of tasks cutting across skill levels – including taking photos, transcribing, translating and more. The beta launch in Kenya follows a year-long experimental program undertaken by Google during which users took on tasks including taking photos of plants for a Penn State University research project.

“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,” TaskMate Product Manager Mike Knapp revealed.

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The relatively high smartphone and internet penetration rates in Kenya, coupled with Kenya’s high youth unemployment rate has made the country an ideal playground for companies looking to capitalize on crowdsourcing technologies.

For instance, research operations such as Geopoll reward users for filling out various surveys or gathering verifiable data.

Several of the biggest online scams in the country over the past few years have also been based on smoothly disguised tasks-for-cash apps. They include Public Likes and, more recently, Amazon Web Worker Africa. Both con platforms, they incentivized referrals while packaging themselves as digital platforms that allow users to get paid for completing tasks.

Task Mate is also currently being piloted in India, with a larger global roll-out reportedly on the horizon.

 

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