Coinciding with the release of the Mob4Hire platform Version 4.2, Mob4Hire  announced today that its online community has exceeded 50,000 mobile testers (a.k.a. “mobsters”) from 152 countries with handsets on 389 different network operators. The Mob4Hire community also includes more than 1,600 mobile app developers and market researchers from 88 countries.
The award-winning Mob4Hire community puts mobile developers and a global community of tech-savvy testers together in a marketplace for mobile testing, product feedback and market research.
Mob4Hire is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of mobile functional and usability testing projects due to the growing demand driven by the explosion of the mobile app and smartphone industry. Mob4Hire’s customer base has grown substantially with both new mobile brands as well as larger traditional brands. Some of the 1,600+ companies registered in Mob4Hire include Verisign, BBC World Trust, IMMI, O2, Truphone, Yellow Pages, MTV Brazil, Vringo and Whompster. By using Mob4Hire, project costs for developers can be reduced by 65% to 90% over traditional methods.
“Mob4Hire’s mobile community of ‘real people on real handsets with real opinions’ are in virtually every country on the planet, which makes it very compelling for mobile developers who are looking for ways to extend their reach, decrease costs and increase software quality,” says Stephen King, Mob4Hire CEO. “Our developer base is growing by 14% per month and we have seen a 150% increase in usage of the Mob4Hire platform in the past year.”
Mob4Hire’s cost-effective “Do-It-Yourself” model allows developers and market researchers to post their own testing and research projects, requesting specific handset devices, carriers and countries. Developers who submit projects can set a flat fee for each qualified Mobster to make per test, or request that the Mobsters bid on the job when they apply to work on the project.
In addition to the Do-It-Yourself projects, customers can work with Mob4Hire’s Managed Services team that offers both mobile testing/development expertise as well as project management for running projects on behalf of the developer.
Mob4Hire’s crowd-source community is primarily male (82%) with a median age of 25 years. Highly educated, 57% of the community have a 4-year degree or higher. They live a mobile lifestyle, are adept at using their handsets, and many come from a professional testing or development background. On average, Mobsters make between $20 and $50 an hour for the time, expertise and effort.
Over the last year, Mob4Hire has been recognized by industry as an important part of the mobile ecosystem through its relationships with Motorola Motodev, Nokia.Forum, Blackberry Developer Zone, NAVTEQ, Samsung, and Flurry Analytics. Mob4Hire has garnered many awards including a Red Herring 100 Award, Mobile Monday Peer Award, GSMA Barcelona Finalist, Branham 300 top 25 list of Canadian ICT startups, and most recently in London at the MEF Conference in June, when they won a Meffys Award for Most Innovative Business Model.
Version 4.2 of the Mob4Hire platform continues to expand on April’s v4.0 release as a significant leap in the collaborative testing online community. Here are the major features of today’s announcement:
1) Mandatory Handset Identification. The Mob4Hire platform automatically streamlines matching the project requirements of attributes such as handset types, network operator and countries.
2) CrowdFlow Project Management Tool. Mob4Hire has simplified the process of managing a large group of testers and survey respondents; from recruiting testers when starting a project all the way to paying Mobsters for their work when the successful results are returned to the developer.
3) Project Walls. Much of the crowd-source mobile testing process is collaborative and requires conversation between the collaborators. The new Project Walls allow for both private discussions and public discussions between app developers and Mobsters.
4) Facebook Connect. This feature has been enhanced to allow for more automatic connectivity that is allowed from the Facebook API
5) Internal admin. Architecturally, the new Mob4Hire platforms offers much better double-entry accounting and audit tools for its eCommerce micro-payment technology, MAAP (Mob4Hire as a Platform).
6) Automated tools. Mob4Hire has responded to customer feedback by including admin and automated tools like project reminders to help speed up the testing process, as well as to ensure higher quality results.
Visit Mob4Hire at booth #908C at the Silicon Valley Telecom Council Innovation Showcase at CTIA Wireless, which takes place in San Francisco this October 6th through 8th.