What can you get for $5? A lot, actually, if you you’re spending it with Fiverr. The Web service has created a new economy where pretty much everything you could imagine – and some things you wouldn’t – cost $5. You browse through offers, which range from someone making you a mobile app for your website to someone writing you a poem – all for $5. Fiverr is filled with professionals looking to make some extra money on the side, amateurs trying to build up a portfolio or hone their skills, and people trying to make a quick $5 without doing a whole lot. It’s a marketplace filled with possibilities and a couple land mines. And now it’s coming to iPhone.
The Fiverr app is a simpler version of it’s Web presence. The main page shows a feed of newly featured gigs, displayed with an image that shows what your final product will resemble and basic information like title, user, and category. Menus are animated all the way through, with smoothly descending drop down panels and boxes gliding into position as you scroll down. It looks great, but can feel a little busy, at times. The primary color scheme of the Fiverr app, grays and whites, fits well with the design style of iOS 7 and plays well with the colorful images that often accompany gigs. A bright green button on each box goads you into purchasing every gig you see. This is a marketplace, after all.
Fiverr’s need to sell you things is both a strength and weakness. The content on Fiverr is plentiful – there are more than 3 million gigs to choose from on the marketplace – but some gigs are more worthwhile than others. To try it out, I ordered one of the more practical gigs – a graphic-centric resume redesign – over some of the more, uh, outlandish ones. (One lady will write messages on her body with a Sharpie for $5, surely fulfilling some strange fetish.) Having never used Fiverr before, I was a little lost as to what to do after purchasing a gig. I was able to place my order in the app but ended up moving over to the website, which has the workflow better defined, to complete my task of providing information for the seller to put to use. I did discover how to do this part in the app after the fact. It just would have been nice if the app guided me there. Also, as best I can tell, you cannot cancel an order from within the app. So if you accidentally order a Sharpie body message you didn’t actually want – a distinct possibility with the one-tap payment feature – you’ll have to fix it from the website.
None of this is necessarily bad. The Fiverr app isn’t supposed to be as fully featured as the website, but rather a auxiliary branch to bring people to gigs and allow communication between users. For buyers, it’s a way to check on the status of orders and browse for gigs that they may be interested in. For sellers, it’s a way to manage incoming orders on the go and communicate with customers without having to pull up a Web browser. You can do most of the basic functions of Fiverr through the app, and that’s still significant enough to make this app feel complete.
If you haven’t used Fiverr before, you’re probably best to start on the website. Familiarize yourself with how the system works, what you can order as a buyer or offer as a seller, and how the process works. Five bucks can get you more than you’d expect on Fiverr, but there are some transactions where $5 is just the start. Once you know your way around the marketplace, then you can embrace the Fiverr app. It’s a great tool that extends the service to mobile and carries its artsy aesthetic over to iOS, but it’s not a starting place. It’s for experienced users, easy browsing, and quick communication. But any of the heavier lifting of a transaction, you may want to do on the site.
You can download Fiverr for free from the iTunes App Store.