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Community Manager

Marketplace Updates: Boosted Proposals and Connects

Two new Marketplace updates: 

  1. Introduced a fourth slot in Boosted Proposals, increasing your chances of being noticed, while continuing to let clients see who is most interested in their job post.
  2. Adjusted the range for the cost of Connects per job to better match the demand for jobs in the Marketplace.


Check out the product release for Marketplace Updates: Boosted Proposals and Connects and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

595 REPLIES 595

Hi Atif,


There are two ways how you can get Connects: either you buy them or earn them. While we can’t share all the details of when Connects are given out (we don’t want dishonest people to “game” the system), here’s what we can share:


  • You’ll receive 40 free Connects when you register for Upwork for the first time
  • You’ll receive 30 free Connects if you earn a Rising Talent badge
  • You’ll receive free Connects (the number can vary) when you win an interview with an established client on Upwork. (To prevent gaming, we aren’t sharing all the details of what we consider “established.” In general, it’s a client who has hired and spent on Upwork in the past.)
  • You’ll get a one-time Connects bonus if you complete an Upwork Skill Certification


Please check this article for more information.

~ AJ

I have noticed a shift since boosting was initiated here. I always boost. Have plenty of connects to boost however I am noticing only 1/2 of my submissions are not even being looked at at all by client. Meaning they aren't even opening the cover letter or my profile. 
If you submit a proposal early with boosts you may not get seen until the client logs back in a few days later and then had trillions of notices. If you wait to boost to outbid others then the risk is it's too late and the client has already began to interview. It's a no win for the freelancer. 




Agreed that there is no perfect solution that will work the best 100% of the time. Some types of jobs are immediate and need an immediate response, whereas others clients don't hire for a week or more.


If 50% of the prospects are viewing your Profile, you are doing well especially since only 50% of the clients hire a freelancer from their post.

Community Member

A client does not hire even one freelancer and you know it happens many times, than Upwork should return connects to everyone who applied for the specific job.

Community Member

Well if you keep updating many features why don't you update the connect limitation to 8 to 20 ? .. why you updated to 8 ?.. all these features updated are useless  in my point of view .. why do i send proposal on 8 connect .. on other hand you update the feautes of boost proposal which is totally a looted scheme are you want to become a unaffordable platform for all freelancers ? i know putting thsese stuff is not mean to you..but i am totally frustated of these updates ... now you making a destructive ,unaffordable website 

I understand that you are frustrated with the recent changes to the Upwork platform, specifically the update to the connect limitation. However, it's important to note that Upwork is a platform that constantly updates and evolves based on user feedback and market demand. The change in the connect limitation is designed to encourage freelancers to submit proposals only for the jobs they are most qualified for and truly interested in, rather than applying for every job that crosses their path. This can lead to higher-quality proposals and more successful job outcomes.

Community Member

Hi, I am really shocked to see that the connect policy is changed or something else happened. The job that requires 6 connects now requires 8, the job that requires 4 connects now requires 6 and so on. That's strange. Is that upwork has changed its policy or we are facing any problem kindly help me out.

we should oppose the new connect policy system please more freelance to come and do raise voice against this 

Hi Waqar, 

We announced more about it here. I have moved your post to the discussion thread where you can share your feedback about the adjusted cost of Connects per job.

~ Avery
Community Member

Increasing connect costs does not make any sense. Who is approving such policies? Continuously squeezing freelancers on various pretexts is illogical. It appears that Upwork is becoming increasingly unsupportive towards genuine freelancers. No matter how large a business may be, disregarding users and prioritizing profits over them is just not good.



Community Member

can you tell me ?? how do you do e this??


Community Member

I recommend that the boosting system be discontinued, as it may not be feasible for everyone to afford the high amount of connects required. I have observed that some users have to spend over 700 connects just to boost their proposals.

The boosting system has been profitable for Upwork and hasn't caused the number of freelancers to decline, so it's not realistic to think that they might discontinue it. They wouldn't be expanding it if it wasn't working out for them.

Community Member

I would like to propose that the connect boosting system be discontinued, as it may not be affordable for many freelancers on the platform. With the current exchange rates, 150 connects can cost up to $24, which is a significant amount in some countries. Additionally, it is observed that a vast majority of job postings boosted over 100 connects to 700, making it difficult for freelancers who cannot afford to do so. The recent increase in connect prices to 8 connects further exacerbates the issue, as jobs under $100 now require 6 connects, which may not be fair to freelancers who cannot afford to boost their proposals. In the interest of promoting fair competition and considering the needs of all freelancers, I suggest that the connect boosting system be discontinued. This will ensure that the right talent is considered for job postings, regardless of their ability to afford connect boosting.

Community Member

I understand that Upwork is introducing two updates to address the issue of competition on the platform. While I appreciate the idea of increasing the number of Boosted Freelancers to four, which can benefit more freelancers and clients alike, I am concerned about the increase in the number of Connects required per job.

In my opinion, this move seems to make the service more expensive for freelancers, which may discourage new and low-budget users from joining the platform. I believe that attracting more talent to Upwork requires not only a fair and transparent system but also affordable and accessible opportunities.

While profitability is an important goal for any business, I think it should not come at the expense of the freelancers who contribute their skills and time to the platform. Instead, Upwork could explore other ways to increase its revenue, such as expanding its user base or improving its services and features.

One potential solution could be to introduce a more transparent system that shows clients how much money freelancers spend to submit proposals. This could unexpectedly increase profitability since it can influence clients to pay more for their projects. I have personally experienced a situation where a client multiplied the budget of their project by 20 simply after I shared this information with them. Such transparency could also reduce the number of fake or low-budget job postings that waste freelancers' time and undermine their productivity.

This is just one idea among many others. However, instead of taking the easy way out by increasing the cost of submitting proposals, I believe that Upwork should carefully consider the impact of its decisions on all parties involved. If the platform prioritizes short-term profits over the long-term sustainability and fairness of its marketplace, it may face dire consequences in the future.

Overall, I sincerely hope Upwork will carefully consider the impact of these updates on its freelancers and clients and strive to maintain a balanced and supportive marketplace.

Community Member

Well, it seems Upwork has decided to play a bad game in which he will lose not only some of the freelancers but also CLIENTS.
The increase in connects does not have a fair gradation. It closes the way for young freelancers (for completely new ones, I think it’s generally deadly) to become top-rated.
Yes, there are different vacancies with different budgets. There are types of work with a budget of up to $ 49 and spending 4 connets on them instead of 2 does not seem fair as before. I mean work for 5-10-20-30 dollars. Accordingly, after a while, clients will stop receiving feedback on such work, because it is inappropriate for a freelancer to spend a huge number of connects on a $5-20 job. So over time, you will lose such customers.
It is worth reviewing the system for submitting connects and leaving at least 2 connections for submitting vacancies up to $49.

It has also long been noticeable that the conditions for freelancers are getting worse (upwork calls this the best demand and cleanliness among professionals), but does not care about cleanliness on the part of clients at all.
Clients take the liberty of not hiring for their job, interviewing but not hiring anyone, writing vague job descriptions, or not verifying payment at all. The spent connects for such manifestations are often not returned to freelancers. All this does not look good, Upwork.

If the Upwork doesn't hear the freelancers and reconsider their views on all this, I think, as a freelancer, I should spend my energy on another place to work where the conditions are not so terrible and they don't try to take extra money from me.

Community Member

I thought I was imagining it yesterday, or it was some kind of bug. But no, this is a real problem. And, for example, until you click on submit a proposal, there are 2 connections. When you open it, there are already 4. Similarly, for submit a proposal with 4 ends, there are now 6 ends, for submit a proposal with 6 ends, there are now 8 ends. Is this a glitch or an innovation? I ask the Upwork team to explain this and sort it out. Thank you

Vladyslav Z wrote:

I thought I was imagining it yesterday, or it was some kind of bug. But no, this is a real problem. And, for example, until you click on submit a proposal, there are 2 connections. When you open it, there are already 4. Similarly, for submit a proposal with 4 ends, there are now 6 ends, for submit a proposal with 6 ends, there are now 8 ends. Is this a glitch or an innovation? I ask the Upwork team to explain this and sort it out. Thank you

Hi Vladyslav,

Feel free to check out the product update linked to the original post here for more information about the changes. 
As for the issue you're referring to where different amounts of Connects were showing in job search and on the job post page, it has already been fixed. 

~ Valeria

I hope everyone is doing well!

I have noticed a very sad thing from Upwork recently. Before I bought the Plus Membership, all the jobs were costing 2, 3, 4, or rarely 6 for any job.

As soon as I bought the membership,  all those jobs require 8 connects to apply for. I literally feel it is some kind of scam from Upwork itself. This doesn't make any sense as all the jobs require 8 connects minimum now on my end.


I have attached the screenshots where you can easily see that a normal entry-level job with less than a month's time also requires 8 connects.


Upwork should consider the fact that entry-level job with less than 1 month of time.. ...should be 2 connects at max

Also, it doesn't make any sense to charge the freelancer 4 connects or 6 connects for the job of 5usd or 10usd

I have personally never come across jobs requiring 8 connects, probably this is some thing new! 


If you suspect plus membership is causing this, cancel your membership.

Saif U wrote:

As soon as I bought the membership,  all those jobs require 8 connects to apply for. I literally feel it is some kind of scam from Upwork itself.

Well... it is not the case. See the announcement below.

Marketplace Updates: Boosted Proposals and Co... - Upwork Community


As for the job screenshot you posted, you should not apply to it and flag it as they take you to an outside link.

Community Member

I think you have upgraded to plus membership on the day they atarted rolling out the 8 connect update. I am not on plus membeship, and I am seeing 8 connects everywhere. 8 connects even for the retyping job post even... I just started on Upwork and it just became better in March. My proposals started getting views...and then this.... I don't know how I am going to survive anymore.

Community Member

Hopefully, UW takes a look at this. 

Community Member

I do agree with you too. They are just squeezing every bit of income from us instead of getting new clients. And there are not even enough quality jobs. 
I can not recommend this site to anyone anymore. 


Community Member

A couple of days ago to submit a proposal we would need 2-6 connects. Now, It's up to 8 connects.


Additionally, the boost feature is totally a "disaster". Currently, for most of the jobs, the client would only notice freelancers with the highest boosting bids. You are turning it to gambling. Now we have to use double the connects as 20 - 200 connects per job only to be noticed by clients.


Is that all Upwork is about now just collecting money from clients and freelancers?


Please stop making it harder for us day by day.

Community Member

Agree. This only makes it harder with constant "features" that aim to get some extra income from freelancers such as bidding "casino" and raised prices for bids.

I'd suggest Upwork take this seriously, because the competition is tough, and lack of quality leads (read: clients) can affect the overall experience of using this platform for many is becoming frustrating and dull at best. Meaningless scrolling through jobs 50-60% of which are being posted just to ask a question and without the intent of hiring.

Without attracting CLIENTS (not freelancers) this platform is going to face very-very-very difficult times. Mark my words

Community Member

I totally "AGREE" .!! 

There are a lot of weird and unfair things happening now on this platform, like the percentage of every job, connects and even with JSS which is devastated me as i cant get any job for 3 months cause of JSS and at the same time trying to get jobs by spending a lot of my money on buying connects.

Ive made jobs for something like 550$ and didnt benfit of it but only 200$, and the other spended on connects and the upwork share of every job. and ive even cannot get anymore jobs cause unfair JSS percentage as I made all my jobs done with no bad rating from anyone.


And now they doubling the connects for every long job.!! 

Cant believe what happening for real, and guess I wont keep working on this platform as I get no income of it.

Community Member

Upwork is becoming too greedy for its own good. It's not enough they are taking a significant percentage from every job, they are raising the entry cost as well?!
Highly unfair, and at one point we all will say enough.

Upwork, take a pick, percentages, or entry cost. Both, are not fair.

Bidding by itself is built on an unfair presumption - another p2w.
What is wrong with a first come, first served?

This cost-raising trend, and putting it all on our backs, is unsettling. And I for one will start to seriously consider alternatives to Upwork.

Community Member

Hi Miss,


For the freelancers reading this post, the net result of increasing the minimum connect bidding to 8 will be:


- Fewer freelancers bidding on jobs that truly are not a good match.

- Fewer freelancer submissions for client review which speeds the client decision making process.

- Increased revenues for stockholders. Upwork NEEDS to become profitable. Hopefully by  2024.


Increasing the minimum bid should make the professional freelancers, clients and Upwork shareholders happier.


It is highly likely that the bid system will need to continue to increase to the 12 to 18 minimum range to met the above goals. The data scientists and the economist at Upwork can optimize for the best outcome once the new data starts coming in. My best guess is that 8 connects will be very inelastic and bidding will need to go higher to have the desired outcome for all involved.

That would be an "INSANE" decision to make.!!


How could you want to CONSUME your freelancers like this and expect them to keep using this platform and paying most of their profits to buy connects just to have the chance to send a job proposal .!!


You can LIMIT the job proposal "NUMBERS" instead of making it much more costive for freelancers, it delivers the same concept. 


Why would someone pay 14$ for 85 connects to just send only 8 job proposals.!! You are killing your own freelancers' ambitions and chances.


Increasing the bids helping only FREELANCERS with high budgets, NOT THE PROFFESIONALS! at the end it would be a CLOSED community on a short group of RICH freelancers.


 GUESS its INSANE decision! OMG !!



There are 4,000,000 active freelancers to 800,000 active clients on this site per quarter. Therefore, all else being equal, the average freelancer only has a 20% of receiving ONE JOB per quarter.


To keep the professional freelancers, clients, and shareholders happy, Upwork needs to reduce the freelancer to client ratio. Professional freelancers ONLY bid on exacting jobs which is not what is currently occurring today on the site.


Actually it's the opposite of helping rich freelancers. It helps the PROFESSIONAL freelancers that know when and how much to bid. Increasing the bidding itself doesn't help poor, intermediate or rich freelancers, but instead the professional freelancer which needs to be visible to clients.

This system will help only FREELANCERS WITH BIG BUDGET and will leave no chance for newcomers at this site.


Maybe the newcomer is MORE PROFESSIONAL than the one who has made a lot of income or has a bigger budget, MONEY is not a STANDARD for determining who is professional and who is amateur.


Activating a system like what you described will KILL any chance for newcomers or low-budget freelancers to find a job here, you are just making MONEY is the main STANDARD of determining who is professional.!!!


If you aren't willing to PAY a lot then find another platform "THATS THE MESSAGE".!!


Maybe you won't feel the case ever as you already made a great profile and increasing connects for bidding wont affect you and is better for you, this will devestate most of the other freelancers. You will never get the point!!


And as i said before "at the end it would be a CLOSED community on a short group of RICH freelancers." not PROFESSIONALS!!



If a freelancer properly bids and is a great match for the client, the freelancer gets the job; that has nothing to do with their economic status, but instead their professional abilities.


Every freelancer on this site was a newcomer at one time. Please click the Academy link at the top of this page for success TIPS which helped all newcomers become professional freelancers.


If you have any questions about how to improve your odds of obtaining client jobs, let me know and I will post here.

>>If a freelancer properly bids and is a great match for the client, the freelancer gets the job


If most proposals aren't opened, because the firehose is too damaging to the process, then this "great match" isn't even something the prospective client gets a chance to be aware of.


It's just how many garbage proposals they can stomach reading and which garbage is cheapest.

Yes, the whole idea behind increasing the bids is to reduce improper bidding. Freelancers need to do a better job before applying versus applying for every and any job.


I am $200 per hour with clients in 30 different countries, therefore clients are not seeking cheap garbage, but instead want VALUE.

William, you seem to have a completely different definition of what is improper bidding to most of the people on this thread. So, to make sure we're on the same page let me clarify the following:

1) Do you consider the definition of improper bidding to be people sending proposals to jobs they know they are not qualified for?

2) Do you think that the above is done as a majority by people who do not boost their proposals or by people who do boost their proposals?

You do not want even to give newcomers a chance to make a proposal !!


Each month you get a FREE 10 connects, that was something helping newcomers with sending like 4 or 5 proposals, now they are worth nothing as you can use them in 2 proposals or 3 at maximum even if they provide good work and are professionals, it won't help at the end.


So the advantage of this system will always lean in favor of the freelancers with the bigger budgets, not the professionals. You have to PAY in order to get the chance to compete with the guys with the big budgets! Hope you get the point.


About the things, you said at the beginning it won't be a LOGIC and fair unless you create a new system like :
Divide the site into 3 segments: "Entry level, Intermediate Level, and Expert level",  for Entry level as a sample ( All jobs provided by clients allocated under the "entry-level" item go directly to the newcomers and maybe profiles under 1000$ income) to send proposals with maximum of 6-8 connects for bidding.

and the Intermediate level goes directly to the profiles with maybe 1000$-5000$ to send their proposals maximum of 12-14 connects for bidding.


And the Expert Level goes directly to the profiles which achieved more than 5000$ or more than 10000$ for a maximum of 18-20 connects for bidding. "AS YOU WANT"

This system will be "fairer" as the "client" is the one who determines the degree of efficiency of the freelancer who will carry out his work and the proper amount of connects for each level.





The goal needs to be for ALL freelancers to reduce the number of job submission because there are too many.


Did you know that if 50+ freelancer proposals are submitted and 50% of the client job postings are not filled then there is only a 1% chance on AVERAGE of getting hired. Unless there are fewer freelancer submissions, the average freelancer needs to submit to 100 jobs to get hired. Nobody wins, not the freelancer, and not the clients.


Making the bids higher causes all freelancers to think twice about randomly submitting to every job.



An UNFAIR system is asking from the guys with weak PROFILES the same amount which is asked from the big PROFILES.

The newcomers cant pay the same connects as the freelancers who already have the ability to pay it.

Yes "Making the bids higher causes all freelancers to think twice about randomly submitting to every job." but it gives the freelancers with high budgets the advantage always to send more proposals. 


NOT FAIR.!! and looks like you dont get the point yet.

Weak profiles shouldn't be applying as much because the clients don't hire weak profiles.


Clients want to hire professionals.

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