Contributor Networks—Comparison Table

At a Glance

This article provides a snapshot of the three primary types of contributor-network options used by customers when seeking to recruit people to participate in UserTesting tests. We'll also quickly compare the Favorite Contributors and Specific Contributors audience-building options.


The following table compares and differentiates the three primary contributor networks available through UserTesting: the UserTesting Contributor Network, Custom Network, and Invite Network. The left-hand column of the table displays common questions customers have when attempting to decide which of the three networks will best serve their testing needs.

For a more detailed explanation of what distinguishes these three networks, see our "Which Network Should I Choose to Recruit Contributors?" article.


UserTesting Contributor Network

Custom Network

Invite Network


How they are different

What subscription do I need? Available on all subscription plans Ultimate or Premium Flex plan, and Professional and Premium subscriptions
Who are the contributors? Where do they come from? Members of the UserTesting Contributor Network

Though a Custom Network is created through the UserTesting Platform, contributors do not come from the UserTesting Contributor Network.

Rather, the customer recruits the contributors, who can be employees, partners, fans of the customer, and so on.

As with the Custom Network, you recruit whomever you want to participate in a test. Generate a link to the test in the UserTesting Platform and send that to the contributors. 

Who recruits the contributors? UserTesting  Customer Customer 
Who manages the onboarding process for the contributors? UserTesting  UserTesting Customer
Who collects demographic information (e.g., age, gender, job) from contributors? UserTesting UserTesting Customer
Who compensates the contributors? UserTesting  UserTesting* Customer* 
Use when you want to...
  • Get immediate feedback from contributors.
  • Recruit contributors from around the world.
  • Have UserTesting handle the recruiting process for you.
  • Test with contributors not readily available on the UserTesting Contributor Network.
  • Do continuous testing with the same group of contributors.
  • Test with niche audiences that you’ve already identified.
  • Send a one-time test to a specific group of people.
  • Be in charge of how you communicate with and pay your contributors.
How do I create...? Use the Create a test > Build Audience > Select Audience path in the Platform and select the UserTesting Contributor Network option on the Build Test Plan page (see image). Choose the Custom Network option from the Build Test Plan page (see image). Use the Create a test > Create Link > Customize Invite path in the UserTesting Platform.

*Alternatively, the customer could opt for an unpaid network. 

The Platform also offers two recruitment features—Favorite contributors and Specific contributors—that help you target particular contributors

whom you wish to reuse for future tests.




Favorite contributors


Specific contributors

Where do the contributors come from? The UserTesting Contributor Network. You create your own network of contributors you want to reuse and add contributors to that network.

Also from the UserTesting Network.

  • They can be a part of a Favorite contributors network but don't have to be. 
  • You can pull specific contributors from different Favorite Networks to make up a single audience for a specific test.
Use when you want to...
  • Locate contributors who are hard to find.
  • Run longitudinal studies (e.g., diary studies). 
  • Conduct a follow-up test and you know of contributors who would be an ideal fit to take that test.
  • Reuse contributors who possess the domain and/or technical knowledge that would best serve your test objectives.

Same reasons as seen under "Favorite contributors."

How do I access the feature and recruit/add contributors?

Click the Favorite contributors button on the Select Audience page (see image below).

Add new contributors to a Favorite network at the Session page for a specific test. See here for instructions. 

Click the Specific contributors button on the Select Audience page (see image).



Note the Fuel Cycle community option at the bottom of the "Contributor network options" list. Refer to the article in Learn More section for information about integrating Fuel Cycle and UserTesting, and how to use Fuel Cycle community members to participate in a UserTesting test.

Learn More

Need more information? See these related articles:

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out these UserTesting University courses:

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