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Why the argument that Facebook Questions will hurt Quora is bunk

Facebook introduces questions, what now?

Facebook recently introduced Facebook questions wit the tagline, “get answers from the people you trust,” and overnight, polls popped up right and left. The blogs lit up and the inevitable speculation began swirling around who should most be threatened by the new Facebook feature as Q&A forums are the new black online and Realtors struggle to figure out what web property they should use and which are time wasters.

Most fingers pointed to Quora which was quite puzzling to me. Even experienced tech columnists publicly and privately noted that Quora would suffer at the hands of Facebook, but I have to sharply disagree.

Where is Facebook going?

Facebook’s goal is to become a present-day Google and Google’s goal is to become like a human brain (two very different goals). Facebook is where people connect with old classmates and friends with a rising class of business users.

Quora’s original culture

Quora at its inception was mostly Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, even well known leaders that were quietly interacting with the small network that focused on networking around content and value rather than people. Quora got a little bit of press and users flocked- some would say it has been polluted with junk questions and junkier answers which doesn’t stray from Quora’s goal of being able to essentially be the answer to any question, but does stray from the original culture of being a think tank for the best and brightest.

Why Facebook Questions is the best thing for Quora

With Facebook Questions, I would argue that the junk questions and junkier answers on Quora will fade a bit as the shine wears off and Facebook Questions becomes the shiny new toy that is already integrated into a network people flock to daily. It appeals to the Farmville casual user to the business user looking to do market polling.

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It is my opinion that Facebook Questions is the best thing that could have happened to Quora and I don’t think it will hamper its growth at all- in fact, I think by possibly cutting out those with shiny object syndrome, Quora will continue to grow but will do so more in line with its natural consumer culture. I believe that in the long run, Quora will be a more intellectual, useful site because of Facebook Questions.

At this time, I would love to ask you what you think, but maybe I should go ask on Quora or Facebook…

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Haley Weaver via Facebook

    March 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Quora is not for me. You know what is? Google…or facebook for question answering. Not sure who started the site but they were well connected but with a bad idea. Kinda like stik.

  2. LesleyLambert

    March 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I see more value to real estate professionals on Facebook because that is where their clients are. Quora, in most of the country, is completely unheard of for the masses and as such, not a great tool for showcasing your skills. My two cents.

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