Free connects will be removed on Upwork in May

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Upwork announced new connect system, which will take effect between May-June of 2019. Free connects will be removed. Connect price will be reduced from $1 to $0.15. Freelancers will spend more connects for job applications.

Upwork connects 2019

What will be changed?

  • Freelancers will not receive free 60 connects per month;
  • 1 connect price will be $0.15 instead of $1. However, you can’t buy 1 connect, only packs: 10, 20, 40, 60, 80;
  • Paid (Plus) account for freelancers will cost $15 instead of 10$. In addition to existing benefits, paid account receive 70 connects monthly ($10 equivalent);
  • Upwork will return connects if a client doesn’t hire ANYBODY. If client hired you or another freelancer that connects will be not returned;
  • Upwork will not charge connects for replies to invites;
  • Connects will expire in 1 year instead of 1 month;
  • Job applications price will be changed. Currently, almost all job applications cost 2 connects. In new connects system price will be based on budget size and estimated duration. For example, a project with $1000 will cost 5-6 connects to apply.

Upwork connects 2019

What about agencies?

  • Agencies paid (Plus) account price not changed – $20, but agencies will not receive 70 connects as freelancer paid account;
  • Agencies will pay more for connects.

Reasons and possible effect 

  • Upwork want to force freelancers to pay more attention to job applications and cover letter. Platform want to reduce the average number of applications per project, so clients will have only relevant applications;
  • In my mind, Upwork force freelancers to use a paid account ($15 per month for now). It looks like Upwork wants to increase earnings statistic, due to interest from Microsoft.
  • There is no sense to buy connects without a paid account. For $15 per month, you receive 70 connects and other paid profile benefits;
  • I don’t think, that Upwork will reach the goal (reduce number non-relevant applications). A lot of copy-pasted applications generated by agencies and an additional $100-$200 per month will not change their behavior. Another spam source is freelancers from Asia, who try to get any possible job. In this case, Upwork may reduce the number of spam applications but new connects system will be a huge problem for this category of freelancers;
  • Amount of new freelancers on Upwork will be decreased because newcomers should pay for connects in advance to receive chance to get hired. On the other hand, Upwork may stop ban freelancers due to small response rate and will approve more profiles;
  • Profile and Cover Letter value will be increased. Freelancer should spend more time to have an up-to-date profile and write detailed and unique cover letters;
  • It will be easy to find work for freelancers with reputation on the platform.


More information about freelance on Upwork you can find in free eBook “Upwork Tips & Tricks“. For example:

  • How to fill a profile?
  • How to write Cover Letter?
  • How to achieve Top Rated?
  • Much more.

If you have questions you can join our freelancers Facebook community.

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Mobile developer from Ukraine. Work on Upwork from 2013. Share experience about freelance from 2014 (jff.name blog in Russian). Wrote book about remote work "How to freelance on Upwork" and free eBook "Upwork Tips & Tricks"

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