Yesterday saw the launch of an interesting new South African mobile service: Money for Jam (M4JAM). The Somerset West-based company has developed an app that puts your phone to work, quite literally. Described as a ‘micro jobbing’ platform, M4JAM allows people to request help with small tasks in return for small amounts of cash.

When we say small, we mean it. Jobs on M4JAM are worth between R15 and R30 a pop. At the moment, the majority appear to be incentives to fill out marketing questionnaires, and getting paid 20 bucks for answering a few questions about your beer likes and dislikes doesn’t seem too offensive, so long as you’re happy with the data capture going on. The more interesting tasks currently available include a bunch of requests from satnav folk TomTom to go out and verify the location of particular street signs or other landmarks in return for a little pocket money.

Providing there’s more of the latter than the former it could be a fun way to supplement income. The only catch is that you also need to sign up to WeChat to use it, since it’s only available through the Naspers IM client.

So how did the first day go? We asked co-founder Andre Hugo, who shared some of the first 10 hours’ worth of stats with us.

Apparently there were more than 100 000 microjobs available from companies including TomTom, 1Life insurance and WeChat itself offering payments ranging from R15 to R30 for each task. 6 782 jobs were completed by early testers – two of were done by htxt.africa staffers while we tested out the service. 

In total, R101 730 was earned at an average of R15 per job. Hugo says that he expects to see around 200 000 users registered by the end of the first month.

Payments are handled by MTN Mobile Money, which takes an R4 surcharge for any withdrawals. Reckon it could be profitable? Tell us in the comments below.

David is a technology enthusiast with an insatiable thirst for information. He tends to get excited over new hardware and will often be the one in the room going "Its got 17 cores, 64GB of RAM and a 5" 4K flexible OLED display, oh it makes phone calls too?" Currently uses: Too many phones. Wants: World peace... and more phones.