On April 27th, 2020, Upwork announced plans to update their video call system. Upwork’s video call system was a disaster in the past. It had tons of flaws, bugs and technical issues that caused freelance-client hiccups.
Lacking a solid call system, freelancers and clients are compelled to use third-party software. Upwork frowns on outside software like Zoom and Skype, but there’s no choice except to let freelancers and clients use these systems as long as their own system sucks.
Luckily, Upwork announced plans to update the system. The announcement came straight from a moderator in Upwork’s community forums. Here’s a rundown of what they had to say…
The Old System
According to Valeria K., an Upwork community forum moderator, the current call experience involves a confusing multi-step process. It starts when you click a tiny phone icon in the upper right portion of your messenger screen.
Once you click the button it creates a link in the chat to let both parties know that a call was initiated. From there you’re required to click the link to open the call. Now another window opens and requires users to click again to join the call.
In other words, it’s a confusing process with too many steps. So Upwork says they’ll make updates to streamline the process and make everything a little easier.
As nice as a streamlined process would be, our greater hope is that Upwork will fix the bigger known issues. Mainly the audio and video connection and quality problems.
Upwork’s Video Call System Updates
Upwork’s announcement says they’re working to solve the issue of one party waiting in a blank video call. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, the wait can be grueling since clients have to be in Upwork messenger to get notified about a call. If the client isn’t in messenger, then they have no idea a call was started.
Anyway, here’s what else Upwork says is changing:
Once the updates take effect, you’ll only need one click to start calls. It also looks like the system will get an overhaul so when a call is initiated, it gives you a window similar to Skype’s calling feature that displays images of both parties.
Incoming calls will be displayed in several places, including in messages, through desktop and mobile applications, and will also play some kind of sound to alert you that a call has started.
Another feature we really like is the ability to minimize calls. This works similarly to other video call software systems like Zoom and Skype where the video remains live, but the screen grows much smaller so you can deal with background tasks simultaneously.
Better Call Connectivity & Quality
This one remains to be seen, but according to the article, Upwork’s video call system will enjoy better connectivity and quality. This goes for the audio aspects too.
Since connectivity, followed closely by call quality, are top reasons freelancers use third-party systems, it makes sense to updates these. We’re glad to see that Upwork is addressing the issues.
That said, we’re not prepared to recommend Upwork’s video call system over Zoom or Skype. Until the updates roll out, and until we have a chance to test them, it’s too risky to use their service with clients.
But let us know your thoughts in a comment below. Are you excited for these updates? Will you give Upwork’s voice call system a chance if they make the proposed updates? Share your thoughts and join the conversation!