Toluna Influencers is one of the most popular and well-established paid survey sites on the internet. But does it live up to the hype?
We tested Toluna to see how it works and how much money you can make, earning a total of $17.17 over five hours for an average hourly rate of $3.43.
In this Toluna review, we’ll explain what we liked about the platform, how the earning potential stacks up against the alternatives, and a few key facts to know before signing up.
- The pay rate is on the high end among sites that focus on short-form surveys (less than 10 minutes in duration).
- Our disqualification rate decreased the more we used the platform.
- Features a very large inventory of surveys, which can be sorted by payout.
- The minimum cash-out is only $10.
- Two of our staffers experienced sign-up and/or account problems that temporarily prevented them from accessing the site.
- Our 64% disqualification rate is relatively high compared to other platforms.
- The “community” features are outdated, don’t pay, and aren’t worth your time.
Toluna Review: The Basics
Toluna is a market research company based in Connecticut. It was founded in 2000 and has been a leading survey provider for many years. Toluna works with companies across a variety of industries to conduct online surveys, live panels and more.
The company’s biggest consumer-facing platform is Toluna Influencers, a paid online survey site with a (not very useful) community engagement section.
We attempted 50 surveys on Toluna and found it to be one of the better-paying online survey sites, as we detail below.
Five Key Facts About Toluna Influencers
- Toluna hosts its own surveys, but it also aggregates third-party surveys from a variety of providers. This means your survey-taking experience can vary widely. Some surveys are well-designed and glitch-free, while others are clunky and outdated. Having to adapt to different survey formats can slow you down and reduce your earnings per hour.
- Toluna is designed for U.S. users, but the company also conducts market research in the UK and in many other countries around the world.
- In our tests, Toluna’s surveys paid $3.43 per hour. However, your pay rate will vary depending on factors like your demographics and the number of surveys you qualify for.
- Our disqualification rate was 64%, although this varied from session to session. Sometimes I would qualify for three surveys in a row, while there were other instances where I was disqualified for almost every survey I attempted that day.
- The minimum amount to cash out is $10, which is on the lower end among the survey sites we’ve tested.
Toluna’s Survey Center is the main way to earn points on the platform. After activating my account, I was directed to complete a set of profile surveys. These profile surveys are short demographic questionnaires that Toluna uses to match you with surveys.
There are 13 profile surveys and it took me approximately 20 minutes to complete them all. You’ll earn 100 points for completing each survey, for a total of 1,300 points. Since 3,500 Toluna points are equivalent to $1, these profile surveys paid 37 cents in total.
After completing my profile surveys, I navigated to the Survey Center to start taking longer surveys. You can click the “Start Survey” button at the top of the page to be directed to a random survey, or browse the selection of available surveys as shown in the screenshot below.
I consistently had many different surveys to choose from. There were a few instances where the survey center ran out of opportunities for me, but that was only after I successfully completed several surveys in a row.
Before taking each survey, you’ll see a short description with the general topic of the survey, the amount of time it takes to complete, and the number of points you’ll receive for completing it.
I took surveys on many different topics, including beauty products, grocery shopping, travel, and digital subscriptions, just to name a few. I found that most surveys had me review concepts and marketing materials for products and services currently in development.
The surveys varied in difficulty as well. Some consisted mostly of easy demographic questions or open-ended questions, while others had me fill out large and time-consuming charts. Additionally, the surveys could be quite repetitive.
Some of these surveys were hosted on Toluna’s platform, while others were hosted through third-party survey providers and aggregated through Toluna. I found that the descriptions of each survey were fairly accurate, but there were occasional discrepancies.
For example, the reward amount listed was occasionally higher or lower than what I actually was paid. This happened because I was routed to a different survey than the one I had initially started. Additionally, I found that the surveys were usually slightly shorter than the advertised time to complete.
I found that the longer I used Toluna, the less often I got disqualified. When I did get disqualified, it was usually after just one or two questions, so I didn’t waste much time. However, there were some instances where I answered questions for over five minutes before ultimately being told I wasn’t the right fit for the survey or that the survey had filled up.
Toluna also has a mobile app that members can use to take surveys. The mobile app only supports surveys and doesn’t provide access to any of the community features that you’ll find on the website. I found that I was disqualified from surveys much more frequently on the mobile app than when I took surveys on a computer.
Our Toluna Earnings
When I signed up for Toluna, I set out with the goal of completing 20 surveys. This took approximately five hours in total, spread across several shorter sessions. I reached the threshold to cash out after 10 surveys, which was approximately halfway through this process.
- Our total earnings: $17.17
- Our earnings per hour: $3.43
- Our disqualification rate: 64%
You can see a log of every survey I attempted, along with the result of that attempt, in this spreadsheet.
Here’s how our per-hour pay rate compared to the other paid survey sites we’ve tested. You can click on the name of each platform to read our full review.
|Survey Site||Pay Per Hour|
|Google Opinion Rewards||$22.24|
It was sometimes difficult to tell how much I was actually earning from each survey. This is because earnings aren’t processed immediately after completion. It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several days for the points to appear in your account.
In most cases, the amount I was earning seemed to match what was advertised, but there were a few discrepancies. I didn’t appear to earn any points when I was screened out of a survey.
Note: for my earnings calculation, I’m using the 35,000 point threshold required to cash out via PayPal. With this threshold, 3,500 points = $1. If you’re selecting a gift card instead of PayPal, you can cash out slightly earlier.
Toluna has a fairly wide selection of rewards to choose from. You’ll find gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart and more, as well as gift cards to major chain restaurants.
You can also cash out using PayPal, although the point-to-dollar conversion rate is slightly higher for this option.
Finally, Toluna gives you a reward option where you can spend points to plant trees in countries abroad.
$10 gift cards on Toluna cost 30,000 points, while $10 PayPal cash-outs cost 35,000 points. This results in a point-to-dollar valuation of:
- 30 points = 1 cent when redeemed for a gift card.
- 35 points = 1 cent when redeemed for cash through PayPal.
The cash-out process was fairly easy. I navigated to the “Rewards” tab, where I was able to browse all of the rewards that were available to me. I selected the PayPal option and verified my email and physical addresses to process the rewards. The points were immediately deducted from my balance, and I received an email with information on how to redeem my reward.
Toluna’s Community Section
In addition to surveys, Toluna offers ways to earn a very limited number of points through its “Community” section.
I tested each Community feature to see if it’s worth your time or if you should skip it. In general, I found that the Community section didn’t have much to offer and that it was best to focus on the surveys.
The Community section is split into five parts:
- Games: This section has two games you can play to earn extra points. One is a simple scratch-off game that you can play once per day, and the other is a photo booth where you can create and share photos.
- Polls: In this section, you can answer polls from both Toluna and the community. You’ll earn points for answering the Toluna polls. You can also view the results of each poll to see how the community voted.
- Topics: In this section, you can browse articles posted by the Toluna team as well as other users. You can respond to these articles by sharing your own opinions. You won’t earn extra points for contributing to this section.
- Thumb It: In this section, users can make social media style posts with photos and text, and community members can give them a “thumbs up” to show support. As with the topics section, you won’t earn any extra points for participating.
- VS Battle: In this section, users can choose between two different options and view the community results. An example of a VS Battle would be “McDonald’s vs. Burger King.” You won’t earn extra points for voting on VS Battles.
In general, I thought the Community section had a clunky and outdated feel. It was difficult to navigate and it took a few minutes to figure out exactly what each section was intended for. However, these features did seem to be used consistently by other community members.
I also didn’t think this section was worth my time when it came to earning points. The only section where I earned any extra points was the Polls section, and even there, the earning potential is fairly limited. Toluna-run polls pay 15 points each (about half a cent), but user-run polls do not provide any rewards. Plus, Toluna seems to only posts new polls every few months.
We tested Toluna for five hours and earned $3.43 per hour, which is slightly above average for a short-form survey site. (You can often earn better rates with long-form surveys and focus groups.)
No. You can learn about other options in our list of the best product testing sites.
Problems Signing Up
It’s important to note that I encountered some issues signing up for the platform. The initial signup process is very easy; you just need to answer a few basic questions about yourself and provide your contact information.
However, after initially signing up, I found that my account was closed without explanation. Toluna’s customer service was not able to provide more information or resolve the problem, so The Ways To Wealth’s editorial team reached out to Toluna directly.
We were eventually told that the problem was related to an issue with identity verification. I had recently moved, and apparently there was a discrepancy with my current and previous addresses.
While my account was eventually restored, it’s important to note that Toluna performs an identity check that isn’t obvious during the initial signup process. Additionally, most users do not have access to a point of contact within Toluna, and my account likely would not have been restored without that intervention.
We also experienced a second signup-related problem.
During the fact-checking process for this review, a member of The Ways To Wealth’s editorial staff attempted to access the platform. He had previously signed up through the Facebook login function, which Toluna recently disabled. As a result, he was not able to log in, and the site would not generate a password reset email. At the same time, he was also unable to create a new Toluna account, even when using a different email address in a different browser. Thus, he was effectively locked out of the site.
Toluna is a generally well-regarded survey site that many people use without any problems, but account issues are a common complaint among users. If you’ve experienced a problem with your Toluna account, let us know by leaving a comment below.
Toluna Influencers: Our Final Verdict
While Toluna certainly isn’t going to replace a full-time job or even a more traditional side hustle, it is something you can use to earn a bit of extra cash in your free time.
When compared to other paid survey sites, we found the hourly payout to be slightly higher than the median. There was also a consistently good selection of surveys to choose from.
However, the site can feel a bit clunky at times, and there isn’t much earning potential in the “Community” section. To make the most of Toluna, we recommend focusing exclusively on the survey section, starting with the profile surveys to help you get more matches.
Your article doesn’t state that Toluna has a history of suspending members’ accounts without any notification. Members realize they were suspended after they can’t log into their account and submit an inquiry about that issue. Then Toluna answers that inquiry by saying that their account was suspended for vague reasons.
Look at the Survey Police and the Better Business Bureau sites to see numerous people complaining about this account suspension. Plus, your points are forfeited.