Quora, the Social Questions & Answers Service, Reaches a Tipping Point

Over the last two weeks, Quora, one of my favorite new sites from 2010, seems to have taken off in a major way (I added almost 200 new followers over last two weeks). I first tried it on April 7, 2010 and was impressed right away by the user experience.

What is Quora?

Quora is a social Questions & Answers site founded by two ex-Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. Users can ask new questions or answer any old ones. You can categorize your questions under “topics”.

As a user, you can follow other users, topics or questions. You can also edit questions, add/modify topics and vote up or down proposed answers. You can add comments to questions and answers. You see in real-time who’s currently answering questions.

I believe that the user experience in Quora is world class and is probably the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. It’s very inspiring and the quality of answers is extremely high.

As an example, my first question “What is the next evolution of group buying?” now has 13 answers and is followed by 109 people. I asked it originally to prepare this presentation and I received very solid suggestions. One news source mentioned that the site had already reached 500,000 registered users but it was denied by one of the founders.

Some people are already saying it will become bigger than Twitter but I disagree. Twitter, being a communication tool, definitely has more potential than Quora.

What it means: interested in social media or innovative services, make sure you try the site. It beautifully leverages your interest graph on top of your social graph. If you’re responsible for a brand, you can monitor what’s being said about you by looking at topics or questions (see the Comcast topic for example). In “Local”, you can also monitor what’s being said around a city (see the Montreal topic for example). Quora’s trajectory will be interesting to watch in 2011.

By the way, you can follow me on Quora here.

3 thoughts on “Quora, the Social Questions & Answers Service, Reaches a Tipping Point

  1. The key edge Quora has on Twitter is the crowdsourced quality control that (a) makes valuable content easy to find, and (b) creates incentives for quality contributions.

    If Quora manages to scale up without taking too big a hit on the quality front, I could see people eventually paying more attention to it than to Twitter.

    However, I doubt that the number of people actually producing content in Quora will ever come to rival Twitter’s. In a similar manner to Wikipedia, most users will be happy to simply read and perhaps upvote.

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