Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ and wearable applications drive strong mobile development growth; Social Media is moving towards commerce; and Data Science is transforming modern businesses towards insight-driven action and growth.
This quarter’s Fast 50 has seen Freelancer.com’s data scientists review a record 356,876 jobs, up 9.3% from 326,545 jobs in Q1 2015, and analysed the trends in the jobs performed on the platform.
The results show that mobile is a core focus for businesses with Android taking the lead over Apple; Social Media monetisation is evolving towards video content and eCommerce, as eCommerce on the whole surges; and Data Science is being recognized as a core capability for businesses that want to grow.
“The Quarterly Freelancer Fast 50 report is the leading indicator of trends in online jobs related to industries, technologies, products, and companies. This quarter is no different, as we see the effect of ‘Mobilegeddon’ and social monetisation on the online world, and data science becomes ubiquitous among tech and traditional organisations alike," said Freelancer.com CEO Matt Barrie.
Earlier this year, Google rolled out their mobile-friendly update, a significant change to the Google’s algorithm, dubbed as ‘Mobilegeddon’ by some. Simply put, businesses that did not have mobile-friendly webpages lost search traffic and did not show in mobile search results. This sent many companies into a frenzy of fixing their websites to ensure they showed up in Google’s mobile search results. In reaction to these changes, we have seen strong growth in Mobile Phone related jobs posted this quarter (up 25.6% to 22,290 jobs).
Google’s increasing emphasis on mobile web also led to a surge in native app adoption and engagement, as it is common practice for mobile websites to encourage the viewer to download an app for a superior experience. This, along with the gathering market for wearables, has seen substantial jobs growth across both the iOS and Android ecosystems. In Q1, 2015, Android had more jobs than Apple but Apple jobs were growing more quickly. This quarter, Android leapt ahead with its number of jobs and growth (up 24.2% to 18,431 jobs). Apple iOS, including iPad apps and the newly-released Apple Watch, fell behind but still grew nicely quarter-by-quarter (up 16.4% to 17,378 jobs).
The drive towards monetisation of social media is starting to hit a wall, forcing an evolution towards social commerce. Advertisers are fed up with bait-and-switch tactics like the organic reach debacle, and it shows, with Facebook Advertising declining for yet another quarter (down 11.9% to 7,459 jobs). In the light of this, Facebook are looking towards other methods of monetisation, including a recent announcement that they are moving towards a YouTube-like revenue share model to stimulate more native video sharing. Facebook are recognising that video is the content distribution medium of the future, and it reflects in this quarter’s Fast 50, with both Video Services (up 22.8% to 3,634 jobs) and Videography (up 18.5% to 1,122 jobs) growing strongly.
Meanwhile, companies were focusing a lot more efforts on Twitter this past quarter (up 21.9% to 4,597 jobs), and the visual media powerhouse Pinterest continued its stellar growth (up 22.0% to 2,126 jobs). The momentum Pinterest have built is showing no signs of slowing down. Their newly launched buyable pins (trialling in the United States) added an eCommerce element to their platform. This evolution towards social commerce as a monetisation model is leading the way forward for other social networks. Social commerce sales are expected to represent 5% of US online retail revenue in 2015 and the effects are becoming more and more evident.
eCommerce as a whole is surging (up 14.7% to 9,128 jobs), with the standout performer being WooCommerce. A popular Wordpress eCommerce solution, WooCommerce is inherently mobile friendly, and in light of Q2’s ‘Mobilegeddon’, WooCommerce jobs have skyrocketed (up 750% to 1,097 jobs). Shopify implementations also grew very strongly (up 31.4% to 732 jobs). We expect more and more companies implementing these responsive technologies to optimise their user experience, improve customer satisfaction, and increase site traffic and conversion rates - ultimately boosting online sales.
HBR has declared the Data Scientist to be “The sexiest job of the 21st century”. They make sense of oceans of structured and unstructured data, and suggest actions and strategies to help optimize and grow businesses. These are highly-qualified people with the strength and patience to tunnel through mountains of information with algorithms in search of gold within. Modern businesses are scrambling to hire them into their organizations.
Many Data Science jobs seen posted on Freelancer included Data Warehousing, Big Data, Scraping, Data Mining, Data Processing, Excel, Machine Learning, and Data Entry. These are all essential for data-rich businesses to survive and thrive in the modern world.
Data Scientists spend a great deal of time preparing data and they have turned to Freelancer.com for help with this time consuming task. As a result, Data Entry (up 47.3% to 23,242 jobs), Excel (up 61.2% to 19,948 jobs), and Data Processing (up 67.4% to 13,179 jobs) all displayed rapid growth.
Companies with limited or no in-house data science capability sought out freelancers to perform Statistical Analysis (up 46.9% to 1,196 jobs), and consequently demand for expertise in statistical tools R Programming, SAS, and SPSS also grew substantially (up a combined 47.3% to 713 jobs). Free open-source database MySQL (up 14.7% to 17,503 jobs) saw significant growth, along with mathematical manipulation programs Matlab and Mathematica (up 36.5% to 2,901 jobs).