Introducing: Toloker Stories

by Toloka Team on Mar 15th, 2021
social media monitoring

Tolokers are people from all over the world and all walks of life — from young people just starting out to professionals with extensive experience. Our users have a fascinating mix of backgrounds, languages, occupations, hobbies and interests, but there is one thing they all share: Toloka fits into their lifestyle. In this post we’ll introduce you to three Tolokers from India, Brazil, and Russia.

Pranjal: engineer and YouTube blogger

You don’t need a degree to be successful in Toloka, but many users do have tech degrees — like Pranjal, a Toloker from India. He worked as an engineer at a telecommunications company, but lost his job due to layoffs. We talked to Pranjal about how Toloka helps him earn extra income and develop skills in the field of artificial intelligence.

Tell us about yourself
I'm 26 years old. I have a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a focus on instrumentation and applied electronics. I live in Gauhati (Assam, India). I started working for a telecommunications company at the airport, but I was let go because of the pandemic. I’m currently looking for a permanent job.

What are your hobbies?
I'm interested in everything related to the internet, technology, and online games. I also love movies and I have a YouTube channel where I talk about the newest gadgets.

When did you start doing your first tasks in Toloka?
In the fall of 2020, I left my job and started looking for a way to make money online. In November, I saw an ad on Facebook, installed the app, and I’ve been doing tasks ever since. On average, I spend 3-5 hours a day in Toloka.

What are your favorite tasks or some unusual tasks you’ve done?
I prefer to take tasks from requesters who pay instantly. Sometimes it takes 7 to 15 days for tasks to get checked and accepted. I was a little skeptical about tasks where you make a video of your face, but then I read the instructions carefully and realized that this is important for training artificial intelligence.

How much do you earn and what do you spend it on?
I've been doing tasks in Toloka every day since November 2020. I'm earning about $65 a month on average. I mostly spend it on traveling, but I also buy little things for the house and gas for my motorcycle.

What are the advantages of being a data labeler?
You don't need a special degree or experience to learn how artificial intelligence and machine learning work and try out this field. Another bonus is that you can do tasks from anywhere in the world, whenever you feel like it. After you've completed a few tasks, you can consider yourself an expert — data labelers learn as they go. The more experience you get, the more knowledge you have.

What other tasks would you like to do?
I'm interested in tasks related to typing and transcribing text, as well as evaluating search relevance, when you need to check how well site pages match the user's search query. I want to get more tasks with higher rewards.

What do you like about Toloka (other than making money)?
I like that the interface is minimalistic and intuitive. No ads — and the tasks are interesting. In my opinion, this makes Toloka one of the best platforms for earning money online.

Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about signing up for Toloka?
Go through training, read the instructions carefully and practice as many skills as you can in different tasks. Take the time to do the training tasks. You’ll need the skills when you start doing the "real" tasks. Good luck!

André: Surfer and dad

What do surfing, house renovations and Toloka have in common? André from Brazil says they go hand in hand as a way to balance his free time.


Tell us about yourself
My name is André Lerman. I’m from Brazil and I’m a medical radiology technician. I am married and I have a stepson – he’s a great kid and we do a lot of cycling and skateboarding together. I absolutely love surfing. Brazil has some gorgeous beaches and surfing locations, and I do my best to take full advantage of that. Another thing I really enjoy is taking care of the house, doing small renovations and looking after my plants. I am also a performer at Toloka.

How did you join Toloka?
I was looking for a way to make some extra money and I saw that Toloka is a serious and committed platform that treats its collaborators fairly and has a qualified support team. I decided to try it out, and I got into it really quickly. I spend more time in Toloka now than I did in the beginning: so far, my personal record is 2 hours straight. I manage to squeeze it into my routine every day.

What are your favorite tasks or some unusual tasks you’ve done?
I like all the tasks in Toloka but there are some I find particularly interesting. My favorites are outlining objects in photos and the tasks where you need to count animals. I also enjoy sending short videos and I really want to do more of that. The most unusual task I’ve had so far was mapping categories. I hadn’t done it before, but I really liked it and I hope to get better at it. Going forward, I want to up my game and get good enough to be offered more paid video tasks.

What do you like about data labeling?
There are a few reasons why data labeling is a great field. For me, the main advantage is that I can do it anytime, anywhere. Nobody cares if I’m sitting in bed, you know? I think that’s pretty awesome.

Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about signing up for Toloka?
If you’re thinking of joining Toloka, go for it! There’s a good chance you’ll like it, just like I did. With Toloka, you choose when and where to do stuff. You’re basically your own boss. Plus, it’s a serious company that pays you real money – no delays, no bureaucracy, no inconvenience.

Nadia: dog lover and volunteer

Nadia Teterina is an animal shelter volunteer who has seamlessly integrated Toloka into her everyday life: she completes tasks on her way to the store and when she’s walking her dogs

What do you do for a living?
I design websites with Tilda and do advertising for a print magazine. I’ve been working remotely for 10 years, so last year’s lockdown wasn’t a big change for me. My work-from-home arrangement has allowed me to take care of my dogs, one of whom suffers from spinal damage.

How did you join Toloka?
I spent a great deal of last summer playing games on my phone. I got sick of it by early fall and deleted everything except sudoku. I’d seen Toloka ads a few times and I thought, “Hey, let’s see if I can make some money off of it”. Toloka turned out to be a great fit for me: it’s like playing a game – but you also get paid! I even quit sudoku. I do tasks in Toloka after waking up and before going to bed. Sometimes I manage to squeeze in a few tasks while I’m walking my dogs. All in all, I spend around 2 hours a day in Toloka.

What are your favorite tasks?
I like to check the relevance of search query responses and classify messages posted on social media. I took a speed-reading course a few years back, and now it really helps me complete these tasks faster.

I also enjoy taking pictures. Every time I’m about to go to the post office or to get groceries, I check Toloka for field tasks to complete on my way, like taking a photo of a building or a business’s entrance. I think it’s a great way to get some extra exercise and earn a few dollars at the same time.

Side-by-side comparison of images is fun, but I found it a tiny bit disconcerting. Picture it: you’re sitting there, comparing images of completely innocent things like clothes or footwear. Then suddenly, out of the blue, comes a picture of somebody’s privates. It happened pretty often. I can’t even begin to describe the things I’ve seen! When a friend of mine joined Toloka and started doing these tasks, we talked about it a lot. The good news is that you don’t have to do it if you feel uncomfortable: you can disable tasks with adult content in settings so that you don’t have to deal with anything inappropriate.

How do you spend what you earn in Toloka?
I spend my earnings on phone bills, small gifts for myself, and charity. I am an animal shelter volunteer, and it’s one of the things that drives me. Most of the money I earn I donate to animal shelters, so the more money I make in Toloka, the more animals I get to help.

What do you like about data labeling?
I really enjoy the feeling of being involved in a meaningful project. When I was little, I watched sci-fi movies and couldn’t imagine myself living in a future like today or that I’d help train artificial intelligence.

Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about signing up for Toloka?
If you’re ready to set aside at least a couple of hours a day, and if you’re patient and able to concentrate, you absolutely can earn some extra cash with Toloka. There’s no need to quit your current job – you can complete tasks in your spare time. You choose your own schedule and task complexity, and that’s really convenient.

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Wed Apr 28 2021 16:50:53 GMT+0300 (Moscow Standard Time)