FreelancingAs they do every quarter, outsourcing site Freelancer.com has released their latest figures mapping trends in the demand for freelance workers across sectors. Thousands of jobs are posted up on their site every month, so their data can be a good barometer of the direction of freelance work. In the second quarter of the year we saw a big bump in the demand for Android developers as Google’s mobile platform really started to outpace iOS, and a dramatic reduction in Flash jobs as industry heavyweights such as Apple, Google and Microsoft aligned themselves behind HTML5.

The biggest increase in the third quarter of 2011 was in demand for social networking work. The sector as a whole was up 36%, with Facebook work up 32% and Twitter rising 18%. As the social web becomes a more important driver of traffic (Twitter, for example, is now the third biggest individual source of traffic to Freelance Advisor), more companies seem eager to invest in their social presence, and find ways to turn those flighty social networkers into customers (a task which has proven troublesome in the past).

The other big winner this quarter was content production – content is king, as they say. Ghostwriting, blogs and product reviews all rose between 22% and 16%, while Google Adsense projects had the largest individual increase this quarter with a massive 76%.

The battle between HTML5 and Flash continues to swing in the direction of HTML5, which increased 38% in the three months to October. Flash jobs – although still around 2.5 times more popular than HTML5 – shrunk by 10%, and show every sign of continuing in that direction.

Mobile apps continued to grow, but saw somewhat more modest growth than in Q2. Android app development grew 8% (down from 20%), and iOS development grew 3% (down from 9%). Providing a tidy counterpoint, the more ‘traditional’ coding jobs (C++, ASP, .NET and Visual BASIC) all fell by around 5%.