Seismic changes in the digital jobs market are hurting Facebook and Android and seeing a surge towards iPad-related recruitment in the technology sector, Cambridge UK based Business Weekly can exclusively reveal thanks to research from Freelancer.co.uk.Freelancer – the world's largest outsourcing marketplace – highlights some stunning trends in its Fast 50 for the second quarter of 2012.
The Freelancer.co.uk Fast 50 pulls data from over four million users and more than 2.3 million projects to highlight the 50 fastest moving online job categories.
Analysing the data, Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie told Business Weekly: “We truly are at an inflexion point of the technology landscape. We’re seeing the changing of the guard across the technology industry.
“Two clear trends are evident: firstly, user activity is moving to mobile devices and the trend won’t be reversing any time soon as the other five billion people on this planet join the Internet, primarily through mobile.
“Secondly, the Internet is becoming more interactive, and the technologies that are winning and will continue to win are open standards like HTML5 and jQuery- to the detriment of the incumbents proprietary technology providers like Adobe and Microsoft.”
Barrie says one app now rules the roost: Apple iOS is accelerating, leaving Android in its dust.
“We reported previously that Android was expected to overtake the Apple iPhone by the end of 2012 for the rate of release of new applications delivered to the platform,” said Barrie.
“Android jobs had been previously growing faster than those for the iPhone.
On the back of an IDC report showing dropping interest by developers in the Android platform, and further reports of lower relative earnings in the Android marketplace, this quarter, the rate of growth for new iPhone apps exploded, growing 30 per cent to 5,112 new jobs - leaving Android reeling in its wake (up 20 per cent to 3,444 jobs).
“This compares to Q1, where iPhone apps were up 27 per cent and Android up 26 per cent. iPad jobs accelerated even faster, increasing its quarter on quarter growth rate from 19 per cent in Q1 to 26 per cent in Q2 (to 2,308 jobs) on the back of the launch of the highly successful iPad 2 in the previous quarter. Generic Mobile Phone jobs across the board were up a whopping 36 per cent to 5,709.
“Next quarter’s Fast 50 will be interesting as Apple released a major update to its flagship mobile operating system, iOS6, as a beta in June, with Google hot on its heels with the release of Android Jelly Bean.”
Changes on Google have meanwhile sent the internet marketing industry into a panic, Barrie added.
“With four updates of Google Panda in the quarter and the release of Google Penguin in April, traffic rankings have gone haywire as Google began a concerted effort to make search engine return pages more relevant to users (or, as some wags comment, more revenue for Google).
“This has created great confusion right across the internet marketing industry (down 5.6 per cent to 13,848 jobs), sending SEO (down 7.3 per cent, to 9397 jobs) and Link Building projects (down 8.3 per cent, to 6529 jobs) tumbling.”
Article rewriting and article submission also headed for the hills as the fight against low quality content rages (down 9.3 per cent, to 6298 jobs and down four per cent to 2681 jobs, respectively).
Telemarketing was up strongly on lower volumes, perhaps as marketers look to other areas (up 11 per cent to 1,104 jobs).
Businesses are looking to weather the economic downturn with Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), says Barrie.
Back-office positions, from virtual assistants to data entry clerks, were up strongly across the board. Virtual Assistants were up 18 per cent to 3,770 jobs, demand for MS Word processing skyrocketed 119 per cent to 1,594 jobs, Data Processing (up 16 per cent to 21,274 jobs) and MS Excel (up 13 per cent to 22,947 jobs) also rose quite significantly this quarter.
Open Standards dominated the Fast 50 and Web. Web 2.0 technologies and their underlying open standards and technologies continued to rise. HTML5 continued to grow strongly this quarter, rising 20 per cent (to 2,108 jobs).
Interactive web technology jQuery (up 17 per cent to 2,247 jobs) also zoomed up the charts. User Interface jobs had a stellar quarter, up 42 per cent to 1,756.
Barrie said: “This activity has been at the expense of the web dinosaur and Fast 50 perennial loser Microsoft; .NET jobs fell off the edge of a cliff this quarter (down 39 per cent to 2,919), and ASP jobs dropped 13 per cent to 1,084.
“Facebook related jobs fell dramatically this quarter (down 14 per cent, to 6,510 jobs), as advertisers and social media experts started to question the effectiveness and ROI of social media advertising on the back of damning reports from customers during the Facebook public offering.
“On the back of reports that Fortune 500s including General Motors were pulling their big ticket advertising budgets with the social media giant, Freelancer.co.uk saw the wind disappear from the sails of the social media boat, with Twitter projects dropping 1.3 per cent to 2184 and social media jobs stalling at 1.1 per cent growth to 5308 jobs.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Matt Barrie