elance odesk 2015 news

This week I received an email from Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance-oDesk. (You can read Fabio’s email here.)

My eyes usually perk up when I see something from him appear in my inbox. Honestly, I’m always a little nervous to open these types of emails. Considering that I wrote a book about how to use oDesk and considering that at least 80% of this blog talks about oDesk, I’m secretly paranoid that they’re going to say that oDesk is no longer is called oDesk (what an SEO nightmare!).

Anyway, this email from Fabio certainly contained some big news. Perhaps the most notable was that it appears Elance users will be transitioning to oDesk.

Details About the Future of Elance

From the oDesk support page:

Why will all of these initiatives be concentrated on the oDesk platform?
Currently, releasing these initiatives on both platforms at the same time is not feasible. We have chosen to concentrate them on oDesk and are building a bridge so that Elance freelancers and clients can experience these improvements right away. Within a year or two we will have a new platform where everyone will access the latest innovations at the same time.

When, exactly, will we begin to see these initiatives that you’ve mentioned?
The first wave of innovations that Fabio mentioned are planned for 2015. We’ll share details and specific timing about each as we get closer to introducing them on oDesk.

What does this mean for the future of Elance?
We greatly value the Elance community and will continue to support the current Elance platform. We will provide the Elance community with ample notice when the new platform is ready for business.

My Thoughts on This News

Here’s my quick take on this.

  • It sure sounds like oDesk is the favored platform by the new Elance-oDesk company. Personally, I’m glad to here that.
  • It’s not entirely clear that the “new platform” will still be called oDesk. I hope it will, and it looks like there’s a good chance – but no one knows for sure.
  • The company appears to have some aggressive goals for how its freelancing profiles and marketplaces will work going forward. There aren’t many specifics, but hopefully the changes will benefit freelancers and outsourcing companies.
  • I actually don’t think Elance is going away (yet), but personally I’m glad that I’ve chosen to focus on oDesk as a freelancer.

What’s your take? Am I reading too much into this email? I’d love to get your take on the matter. Comment below.

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Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.


  1. Good detailed article as usual.

    But I want to comment one particular statement here: “I’m secretly paranoid that they’re going to say that oDesk is no longer is called oDesk (what an SEO nightmare!).”, and “It’s not entirely clear that the “new platform” will still be called oDesk. I hope it will, and it looks like there’s a good chance – but no one knows for sure.”

    I’m afraid that 80/20 that it will not 🙁 The case is that both oDesk and eLance are pretend to be equal in this merger. So, it will either be eLance-oDesk, or something brand new which has not words ‘elance’ and ‘odesk’ as substrings. I’m afraid..

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