Scam is a strong word, but it’s one that’s thrown around a lot in the world of home working.
And it’s often not as black and white as something either being a scam, or not. Sometimes it’s best to avoid certain sites, even if they don’t meet the dictionary definition of a scam.
You may already be gaining a taste of what’s to come in this Picoworkers review.
If you want to read a quick “TL;DR” and then move on, I’ll save you some time: Picoworkers wouldn’t be my first choice of micro-working site, even though the platform itself seems legit – ish.
However, I’d suggest reading the whole review anyway. If nothing else, it will give you some interesting insights into the murky world of internet marketing!
Let’s get started!
- What is Picoworkers?
- Is Picoworkers a Scam?
- Picoworkers Review – Signing Up
- Performing Tasks
- Click Fraud on Picoworkers?
- Follows, Likes and Comments: Other Jobs on Picoworker
- Getting Paid by Picoworkers
- More Details
- Other Online Feedback
- Alternative Sites
What is Picoworkers?
Picoworkers is a two way platform. Once you set up an account, you can both perform small tasks for money, or pay people to do micro-tasks for you.
For example, if you were keen to get more people to follow your social media accounts, or to join the mailing list for your blog, you could pay them to do so.
It’s the nature of some of these tasks that make me a little uncomfortable about recommending Picoworkers – so read on to find out more.
Is Picoworkers a Scam?
Picoworkers isn’t a scam. It’s easy to find Picoworker payment proofs from people who have earned money from the platform. The company has an “About” page with full address details and even a phone number. Picoworkers is an LLC based out of Santa Barbara, California.
Despite this apparent legitimacy, there are various reasons why you might want to think carefully before joining Picoworkers.
Most of the tasks on the platform only earn you a small amount of money. Admittedly, this is the nature of micro-working. However, additionally, as explained later in the review, some of the tasks seem morally questionable.
Picoworkers Review – Signing Up
Signing up to Picoworkers in really easy. There’s a fairly short sign-up form, asking for things like your name, country, and desired login credentials.
Later on, you are asked to provide your nearest city and your date of birth, before you’re able to complete any tasks.
It’s all very straightforward, and relatively informal, allowing you to begin work very quickly.
I first published a Picoworkers review a couple of years back. When I came to revisit it in 2021, I was pleased to see that the site had had a modern overhaul. It’s now much more attractive and modern.
I wondered if this overhaul would mean that I would leave with a more positive impression than I got the first time around. To find out if that was the case, you’ll need to read on!
Once you’ve verified your email address and logged in, you’ll see a wide range of tasks you can complete on Picoworkers. There were just over 1000 live “starter” tasks when I last looked. I was unable to see how many were available in the “Advanced” and “Expert” categories, as I shall explain below.
It’s fair to point out that the number of tasks on Picoworkers seems to have increased since my last look – the platform seems to be growing. This is good news for those who decide to give the site a try.
You’re restricted to small “starter” tasks on the platform until you complete some successfully, which builds up a success rate score. Once this rises high enough, your “worker level” increases, and you can get involved in (slightly) better paying larger and “ongoing” jobs.
When I first looked at Picoworkers, my initial observations were positive. The jobs there for the taking all looked very simple – things like “Visit website and click once,” and “Visit Facebook and Visit website.”
While these tasks only pay pennies each, they also only take seconds. This, in essence, is what a lot of micro-working is like.
It was once I started looking at the jobs themselves that I felt less comfortable. Unfortunately, the issue at the root of my doubts doesn’t seem to have gone away in the intervening years.
Click Fraud on Picoworkers?
The very first job I looked at on Picoworkers involved me going to a website, clicking into some blog posts, and then “clicking on two banner ads.”
Now this might seem like an innocuous request, but what this actually is is something called click fraud. The owners of these websites earn money when people click on their adverts. So, presumably their strategy is:
- Pay people a tiny fee to click the ads
- Get paid MORE than that by the advertising network for those clicks
- Pocket the difference.
I have ads on my own sites, and know that it’s very much against the terms of service to click those ads myself, or to in any way entice or encourage people to click them unless they want to.
PAYING people to click them is definitely off limits, and would likely see the site owners banned from Google Adsense, or whichever other networks they are using. It seems clear plenty of them are willing to take that risk.
Once I started delving deeper, I found that a LOT of the jobs on Picoworker involve visiting sites and clicking adverts.
On my most recent visit to Picoworkers, I spotted the visual revamp, and was hopeful that the platform had moved away from being a marketplace for jobs like this. There’s little I like more than being able to say that a company has responded to criticism and improved – and it would have been nice to have another site that I could actually recommend to readers.
But I quickly noticed lots of jobs rather vaguely named as “Marketing Test Visit.”
And what did I find within several of these jobs? Yes, you guessed it, requests to click adverts:
Now there are a few things I should make clear:
- I’m not saying that Picoworkers as a platform is doing anything wrong, but it’s clear to me that plenty of the service’s users are paying people to take part in (at best) questionable activities. The same thing happens at RapidWorkers.
- While I personally wouldn’t want to earn money for doing “work” involving things like this, I do realise that some people have a less strict moral code than I do.
- You do, of course, have the option of signing up to Picoworkers and refraining from getting involved in the more “questionable” jobs.
Follows, Likes and Comments: Other Jobs on Picoworker
Not all jobs on Picoworker involve clicking website ads to earn the site’s owners shady money!
There’s also a lot along the lines of “upvote on Reddit,” “follow on Instagram,” or “sign up to this website.”
While these things are less morally questionable that helping people fraudulently earn advertising revenue, they still annoy me. Essentially, these are all activities that make the internet a little bit worse.
It’s easy to gain a huge social media following by paying for “likes” and other such things, but in reality it’s pretty pointless. People who’ve been paid to like something don’t actually like it, and are unlikely to ever interact with the brand or buy anything.
Most of the “sign up for this site” jobs seem a bit questionable too. There are plenty of sites that pay out a few bucks when you refer a signup to them. All people need to do is pay a “Picoworker” 50 cents to do it and pocket the difference.
It’s wrong and it’s dishonest – so if you thought “ooh, that’s a good idea,” please slap yourself on the wrist!
So essentially, a lot of what’s here is just online “noise” created by people who want to make money online but want to cheat rather than doing the hard work. Anyone who’s followed HomeWorkingClub for any length of time knows I’m not a fan of people like that!
However, there is a flip side. It’s sad but true that “nice guys (often) finish last,” and I suspect that there are plenty of entrepreneurs using Picoworkers to take business shortcuts, getting away with it, and making money.
I wouldn’t judge you if your integrity level made you feel you’d be happy to get paid to help them (well, perhaps I’d judge you a little bit..!)
And there will also be some inevitable “diamonds in the rough” among the jobs on offer. i.e. Micro-jobs from honest people who just want to do a little to boost their following or carry out repetitive tasks. I must be honest though – they seem to be very much in the minority.
Getting Paid by Picoworkers
You can request a cashout from Picoworkers once you have a balance of $5. The payment options include PayPal, Skrill, and the LiteCoin cryptocurrency.
Of course the big question is whether you will actually get paid! Before I started on my Picoworkers review, I looked at other online reports and did see plenty of payment proofs. However, there are also some comments on various Picoworkers reviews talking about delays and problems with payments.
Due to my personal objections to some of the jobs on Picoworker, I’m not willing to stick around to receive a payout. As such, I have to suggest you proceed with some caution.
My instinct here is that payments are unlikely to be an issue. The platform is busy and established and provides contact details. All companies of any size attract some complaints, and there are always two sides to the story. That said, with some of the tasks here involving playing with fire, I can’t promise that you won’t get burned.
There is more I could say about Picoworkers, but I don’t intend to go into tremendous detail, since my overall impression is somewhat negative – but here are some more key points:
Picoworkers User Interface
The user interface now vastly improved, compared to when I first looked at the site. It’s clear and easy to use, although the intricacies of the points and worker levels are rather complicated.
You can also build up “Picoworkers points” for doing anything from completing tasks to uploading your ID and verifying your phone number. I’m unclear what the points and levels really achieve, and alongside various success rate percentages, it all makes for a lot of rather confusing metrics.
Picoworkers Referral Scheme
Like many home working platforms and survey websites, Picoworkers operates a referral scheme. It pays you 5% of anything your referrals deposit (to have tasks done for them), and 5% of the value of tasks they do “in your downline.”
Other Online Feedback
Given my own rather negative view of Picoworkers, I expected some horrors when I searched for other Picoworkers reviews on the aggregate review sites.
To my surprise, I found a 4.1 star Picoworkers TrustPilot rating, and a 4.69 star review on SiteJabber.
Delving a little deeper into the reviews, I have to say I’m a tad suspicious. Here’s a particular gem from TrustPilot:
“this the first real plate form that give me withdraw in fast and great earning place i love the picoworker this the best best best and best platform”
Hmm. I’d suggest taking a look at these reviews yourself, and drawing your own conclusions.
I have to conclude my Picoworkers review by saying this isn’t – for me – a great home working opportunity.
Yes, you can plug away and earn some VERY easy money just by clicking around websites. However, I’d personally rather do something useful with my time than earn a small amount for enabling others to take shortcuts and – in some cases – pull off scams.
This isn’t a reflection on Picoworkers itself, or the people behind the platform. It says more about those who’ve started using it to hire micro-workers.
To be clear, I’m not saying that it’s not possible to earn from Picoworkers, or that it’s a scam. The site displays a “workers ranking” showing users who’ve earned most on the platform, and there are several hitting $2000 or more.
It’s interesting that none of the ranking users are in the US or UK – suggesting to me that people in those countries are finding better opportunities. It’s a sad reality of the home working world that people in some countries are forced to plumb the depths of the less attractive options (something discussed in this cultural awareness article).
As I said, you do – of course – have the option of signing up and only taking part in the “non click fraud” jobs – but due to their presence, I struggle to recommend the platform.
- If you’re looking for the same kind of “gamified” micro-working environment as Picoworkers, both PrizeRebel and SwagBucks are worth a look. They offer micro-tasks alongside surveys, offers and other ways to earn small amounts of money.
- For something more serious, take a look at Clickworker and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. We also have a round-up of similar sites here.
- Check out this article for lots of other online side job ideas.
Picoworkers - Not recommended
Volume of Work
- Easy to sign up.
- Low payout threshold.
- Plenty of work.
- Could be a useful platform if you want people to do small tasks for you.
- Morally questionable tasks.
- Very low rates.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.