What shape is the internet? What do Nigerians like to do online? Why don’t my kids listen the first time? These and other questions have been tossed around Facebook’s new feature: Questions. But other questions include, is the new feature a valuable addition to Facebook? Is Questions a “Quora killer”?
Quora went into beta testing in January and was opened to the public in June. It, like Facebook’s Questions and Yahoo Answers, features user questions answered by the community of other users. These “crowd-sourced” solutions are not new, but Quora does boast of having the best community, it being frequented by “some of the smartest folks in tech,” according to PCMag. It is not hard to see why Quora has retained a very exclusive aura, which Facebook cannot achieve with its 500 million users.
Facebook is regarded more as the “everyman’s” forum. Users can write any question they have ever wondered – really, what shape is the internet? – and the community responds. These question and answer sessions are public to anyone with a Facebook account, and those who want more privacy are encouraged to use the private chat option. Both Questions and Quora are beneficial for those who need targeted information.
Will Quora and Facebook questions pose a challenge to search giant, Google? The trend is towards these more specific “crowd-sourced” answers, but experts don’t think Google has much to worry about. In fact, even if searchers query other users, Google is still involved. The questions and answers are often indexed by the search engine, which Quora plans to allow in the near future.