Hive Work Review: Is HiveMicro a Scam, or Legit?

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I pride myself on being completely honest about the things I review on HomeWorkingClub. This means that, on occasion, I get the chance to completely savage a product or service. It also means that I have to admit when things change. Those who read my original Hive Work review will notice some distinct changes but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve changed my mind about this home working opportunity.

NB. Please note that the site being reviewed here has rather confused branding. The site is called HiveMicro, but it is branded as “Hive Work.”

I’m always keen to give every online home working offering a fair chance. I’m open-minded towards plenty of side jobs that some people turn their nose up at, and have been positive on this site towards everything from content mills to survey platforms.

It’s often the case that it’s all about the level of effort you’re prepared to put in.

Please keep my open-minded stance and willingness to revisit this platform in mind as you read this Hive Work review.

What is Hive Work / HiveMicro?

Hive Work (also known as HiveMicro) is an online micro-working site where you can earn money for completing short, repetitive tasks.

The tasks involve things like identifying the content of images, separating out “real life” videos from animations, drawing boxes around certain image elements, identifying movies and TV shows, and transcription.

On the face of it, the tasks are varied. They’re certainly pretty simple. They’re primarily based around the kind of things computers can’t yet be relied upon to do consistently.

When I completed my original Hive Work review, there were around 20 different “Hive Work” jobs posted, many of which had plenty of tasks available. Now there are more than 60 jobs on offer although the number of tasks available for each job varies a lot.

Hive Work Review: Sign Up Process and Getting Started

Signing up to HiveMicro is quick and simple. You simply provide a name, email address, password and country. Unlike many online earning sites, Hive Micro appears to accept members from all over the world. 

You then have instant access to the available tasks. For each one, you must complete a “Qualification Test.” Once you’ve passed, you are free to complete as many of those specific tasks as there are available.

Jobs for beginners on Hive Micro

Hive Work: The Experience

One positive I can highlight in my HiveMicro review is that the user experience is actually rather decent. It’s not perfect, but things are smoother than they are on most micro working sites.

Unfortunately, everything goes rapidly south when you realise how many tasks you’re expected to do to earn a very small amount of money. If you have a look at the screenshot above, you’ll see what I mean.

Choosing the correct label for food in an image? That sounds simple enough – until you see you have to do it 1000 times to earn 20 cents. That isn’t just a low rate, it’s utterly ludicrous.

Another task I saw involved watching movie trailers until you were able to confirm the movie. The rate for this? 35 cents for 1000 tasks! Even if each task takes 10 seconds (and that’s incredibly optimistic), you’re looking at spending nearly three HOURS, making 35 CENTS.

Now I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous and exploitative stuff in the home working world, but this is right up there!

Fortunately when I went back to the site so as to be able to accurately update this Hive Work review I did find some better paid options. There were a number of jobs paying between $4 and $8. As you can see in the screenshot below I was even able to find a job that pays $75 per 1,000 tasks. Even though there are only 300 tasks available this would still seem like a slightly more reasonable proposition.

Hive Work tasks

Unfortunately the low rates for the majority of tasks are not the only probem.

There’s room for ambiguity in some of the tasks, which can mean there are times when you can’t be sure you’ve answered correctly. If you get too many things wrong, you end up with a two-hour ban from that task.

Why do People get Permanently Banned by Hive Work?

Hive Work tasks may be fairly simple but the platform does require that you do the tasks with a very high level of precision. While a few mistakes can lead to a two-hour ban, multiple infractions will lead to a permanent ban.

This is fair enough, and it’s a policy you find on other online working platforms, such as UHRS, but when you’re earning SO little anyway, it really adds insult to injury.

Hive Work Ban

I could go on, but there seems little point. Nobody would try to pretend that micro-work is lucrative or particularly fun, but the level of grind required here to make your balance go any higher than a handful of cents is pretty extreme. I really can’t see many people putting in sufficient work at the low-paid tasks in order to get invited to the higher paying ones.

Can you Really Earn Money by Completing Simple Tasks on Hive Work?

Yes, but you can’t earn much money using Hive Work / HiveMicro.

Before I started my Hive Work review, I came across a Facebook group promoting the platform. It claimed on one post that “most” users were “making more than 15 USD per day.”

Hive work Facebook lie

After only a short play with the HiveMicro, I quickly dismissed this claim. Furthermore, I didn’t even have to look far to disprove it. You see Hive Work’s website includes a leaderboard of the platform’s top earners.

Only the top earner had made more than $50 in the last week , and to do so they had to complete over 14,000 tasks! On the day I completed this review (29th April 2019), I also looked at the daily chart, and only one user had made more than 10 Dollars – for doing nearly 3000 tasks!

Thankfully, things do seem to have improved rather significantly in 2021. The top 50 earners all cleared at least $15 in one day and the top earner had made $270.71 in the last week.

It is good to see that things are getting better but that is still an awful lot of work for not much money. I also suspect that the amounts made by the top earners are far from typical.

What can You Expect to Earn on Hive Work?

While the tasks may be simple you need to put in a lot of work to earn money. The type of task, rate, and user speed will all affect earnings but I think it is fair to say that most people should not expect to make even $1.00 per hour.

Depressingly, it appears Hive Work DO find plenty of takers for their micro-tasks. According to the company they have over 1.5 million users in over 200 countries.

As I discuss in my article on cultural differences in home working, many online opportunities are off-limits in certain countries. Presumably, the people turning to HiveMicro to make money are those who find themselves with little choice. While the chances are they live in countries where the cost of living is low, most rates are ridiculously stingy. To be frank, “exploitative” is the word that I keep thinking of.

There are considerably easier ways to earn online, and much better micro-working sites. This is why I have provided a lot of suggestions for alternatives at the end of this Hive Work review.

Hive Work Payouts

Despite the low rates, it didn’t take me long to find a HiveMicro payment proof from a quick online search.

HiveMicro pays out weekly on a Tuesday. Payment is by PayPal or Bitcoin, and you can set your payment threshold as low as two Dollars. This is a good job when the rates are so low but PayPal fees and withdrawal options could easily wipe out most of the amount earned.

Hive Work Referral Scheme

HiveMicro has a referral scheme, promising to pay out “up to $5” for each new person you refer.

Hive Work Referrals

The trouble is, YOU have to earn $2 before you allowed to refer people. THEY then need to make $5 before you get any commission. If you consider the low rates, and how little people are actually making based on the “leaderboard,” this hardly seems worth bothering with.

Put it this way, I’m not going to do hours of work just so that I can put a referral link on this site!

Is Hive Work a Scam?

HiveMicro isn’t a scam – as such – however, some of its practices do seem a little shady.

Scamadviser's Hive Work review

There is little information available about the company (Castle Global, Inc.) other than that provided in the Terms of Service you must agree to in order to join the platform. Scamadvisor warns that the site owner hides their identity on WHOIS and that the website is served from a high-risk country.

I guess I too might try to hide my identity if I was taking advantage of people desperate for work by paying them a pittance.

Is HiveMicro Legit?

I would have to say that it is. Plenty of people have posted payment proofs online. However, there are a number of red flags which you need to be aware of before investing your time on this platform.

Members must complete a LOT of micro-tasks to earn a small amount of money but what concerns me more are some of the comments you can find posted online by users of the site. It seems from comments like those in this Reddit thread that rates paid and the minimum payout may vary from user to user, even if they are from the same country.

Another issue that appears on multiple forums is that if there is a delay in payment (usually related to the integration with PayPal) there is no support in resolving the issue.

Payment issues with HiveMicro

Alternatives to Hive Work

I usually end reviews by suggesting some alternative products and services. With this one, I feel I ought to go one step further. As such, I’ve suggested a few options for people in less developed countries who aren’t fortunate enough to have as many online opportunities as those of us in the western world.

Inevitably, they require more up-front work, more effort and more skill – but there ARE better options than doing 1000 tasks for 30 Cents.

Things you can do from ANYWHERE

  • Start a blog or authority site. It will take more time to start making money but a properly monetised blog can eventually make some very decent money.
  • Establish a presence on Upwork or a similar freelancing site, and sell services directly to clients. This will allow you to set rates according to your needs.
  • Research companies in transcription and translation that hire staff worldwide. You will not get rich from working on these sites but you will get paid a lot more for doing transcriptions than on Hive Work.

Other Micro-Working Sites

If you are really set on doing micro-work there are several sites that are so much better than Hive Work. The major downside to these sites is their limited geographical presence:

  • Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. While it isn’t available everywhere it does have a strong presence in India.
  • ClickWorker.
  • SwagBucks is a mixture of surveys, offers and microtasks, but is worth a mention here because it now covers a much larger global area, with most of Asia eligible to join, as well as some areas of Africa.

Conclusion

I feel a strong sense of sympathy for the people who depend on HiveMicro as a source of income. They must be working extremely long hours to earn very little money. Things do seem to have improved since my original Hive Work review but still not enough to make it a worthwhile option. I strongly suspect that it is really only a handful of top users that have really benefitted from the changes.

This site, to me, reveals a real dark side of the home working industry. The platform is polished and everything works – so it’s a shame that the positive first impressions quickly die away to reveal a service that’s paying insultingly low rates to its workers. Where they are in the world is immaterial.

I therefore conclude my Hive Work review by saying – in case you haven’t guessed by now – that I DON’T recommend Hive Work / HiveMicro. I review many things for this site that leave me unimpressed – this one left me distinctly queasy.

Hive Work Pros and Cons

The Good

  • The platform is slick and functional.
  • Low minimum payout.

The Bad

  • Insultingly low rates for the vast majority of tasks.
  • Rates and minimum payment fees that appear to vary based on user location or other demographics.
  • Lack of support.

If you want to, you can find Hive Work / HiveMicro here.