Gigwalk, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, has released a major update to its iOS app in conjunction with the announcement of its public launch today. Gigwalk lets businesses “hire” iPhone users to complete small “gigs” that usually involve gathering information about local businesses. Gigs completed to the hiring business’s satisfaction result in payment to the Gigwalker via PayPal.
TomTom, the maker of personal navigation devices and software for a variety of platforms, used Gigwalk during its private beta to help update its map and POI data.
Leveraging the Gigwalk community has allowed TomTom to cost-efficiently expand our mobile workforce and tap into local resources that can verify changes occurring in the real-world today,” stated Peter King, Regional Operations Manager for TomTom. “The Gigwalk community has proven it can be an integral component of our mission to continue to provide our customers with the freshest map products available.
Gigs pay anywhere from $2 to $90. Completed gigs also grant “streetcred” – a measure of quality and reliability that allows Gigwalkers to access higher-paying gigs. Gigwalk uses the iPhone’s GPS capabilities to find local gigs and automatically tag photos and videos submitted. Gigs can only be completed when a Gigwalker is at the actual location of the gig.
Gigwalk is only active in a handful of areas for now: Los Angeles metro area, New York City, San Francisco Bay area, Philadelphia, South Florida, Boston, and Chicago.
Since I’m in Boston, I took Gigwalk for a spin today and completed a local gig. Signing up is easy, requiring only your name, email address and a password. Note that since Gigwalk pays you through PayPal, the email address you enter must be associated with your PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you’ll need to get one to collect any payments received.
Once you’ve created an account, you can view gigs around you marked by red pins on a map. Tapping on a pin reveals the location of the gig and how much it will pay. To accept the gig, you tap on the Start Working button at the bottom of the gig task list.
The tasks for the gig I completed included taking pictures of a local business inside and out as well as its menu, listing the credit cards accepted for payment, and other similar tasks. Once you’ve completed all of the requested tasks, tapping on the Submit Work at the bottom will upload your work. The employer, who is not named anywhere in the gig listing, has up to 7 days to review your submission and decide whether or not to pay you.
Gigwalk claims that some Gigwalkers earn up to $1,600 per month. With most of the gigs that we found in the Boston area at the time of this post paying under $10, earning this much would take a lot of time and effort here though gigs probably vary widely in scope and earning potential in the different areas where Gigwalk is currently available.
Note that while Gigwalk will work on an iPad or iPod touch, an iPhone 3G, 3GS, or 4 are required to actually complete gigs according to Gigwalk’s FAQ.
If you’re like me and have your iPhone with you wherever you go (and you live in an area where gigs are available), Gigwalk could prove to be a not-insignificant source of income. Whether or not you earn a lot depends on the kind of time you have on your hands. For me, Gigwalk is going to stay on my iPhone and though I don’t think I’ll get anywhere close to earning $1,600 in a month, I’ll be satisfied to explore some areas I probably wouldn’t have ventured to on my own and earn a few bucks here and there to buy more apps.