Quora

Quora logo

Quora is an American question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, followed, and edited by Internet users, either factually or in the form of opinions. Its owner, Quora Inc., is based in Mountain View, California, United States.

Quick Fact

Summary

  • Ranked #80th worldwide
  • Active users 326 M
  • Type Discussion Networks
  • Launched date June 21, 2010
  • Employees 300
  • Headquarters Mountain View, California, U.S
  • Parent company None

Founders

person
Adam D'Angelo
person
CharlieCheever

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 $2 B
  • Revenue in 2020 $20 M
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

Lawsuit

LawsuitFounder and CEO of Quora speaks on internet

entrepreneurship and AI – Waseda University.

(via waseda.jp)

On Jan 1, 2020, a retired Palestinian American professor, Rima Najjar Merriman, filed a lawsuit against United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Her lawsuit alleged that she had been wrongfully banned from the question and answers website and accused of posting hate speech for her pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist views.

On Mar 23, 2020, Merriman filed for voluntary dismissal of her lawsuit against Quora without admitting guilt. Her lawyers cited as a reason for the withdrawal of recent court rulings "that immunize tech companies for acts of censorship and discrimination, whether or not those activities constitute unlawful discrimination or the restriction of legitimate speech…

Specifically, the Communications Decency Act (CDA) has been interpreted by recent cases in the Northern District of California to trump federal civil rights statutes as well as UNRUH's protections against discrimination on the basis of political opinion."

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

In the year 2009, when people were often baffled about finding answers on the internet.

These two young lads happen to be ex-employees of Facebook, that’s when Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever came up with a fascinating idea!

Post their exit from the firm, Adam and Charlie developed an idea and implemented the same into a website now famously known as Quora.

In an answer to the question "How did Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever come up with the name Quora?" written on Quora in 2011, Charlie Cheever stated, "We spent a few hours brainstorming and writing down all the ideas that we could think of.

After consulting with friends and eliminating ones we didn't love, we narrowed it down to 5 or 6 finalists and eventually settled on Quora.

The closest competition that [the name] Quora had was Quiver.

Brief History

2009
Jun Quora company was established.
2010

Quora was reviewed extensively by the media.

Mar Quora, Inc. was valued at $86 million.

Raises $11 million in a Series A, with Benchmark Capital as an investor.

Jun Quora first became available to the public.
Dec Quora's user base increased quickly.

Succeeded in combining attributes of Twitter and Facebook.

2011
Jan Marc Bodnick leaves Elevation Partners to join Quora.
Feb Quora has developed its own proprietary algorithm to rank answers.

Quora chooses C++ over C for its high-performance services.

Jun Quora redesigned the navigation and usability of its website.
Jul Quora introduces video to its Q&A pages.
Sep Introduces threaded comments and comment voting.
Dec Quora uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud technology to host the servers that run its website.
2012
May Quora raises $50 million in a Series B, with Peter Thiel and Adam D'Angelo as investors.
Sep Co-founder Charlie Cheever stepped down as co-operator of the company, taking an advisory role.
Nov Introduced the Top Writers Program.
2013
Jan Launched a blogging platform allowing users to post non-answer content.
Mar Quora launched a full-text search of questions and answers on its website.

Quora introduces a policy eliminating image-only answers.

May Extended the feature a full-text search of questions and answers to mobile devices.

Usage metrics had tripled relative to the same time in the prior year.

Nov Quora introduced a feature called Stats.
2014
Apr Quora raises $80 million in a Series C at a $900 million valuation, with Tiger Global Management and Y Combinator as investors.
2016
Jan Quora announces bounty system, offering financial bounties for the best answer (selected by the question asker) on select questions
Mar Quora acquired the online community website Parlio.
Apr Quora announces that it will start testing advertisements on a small number of question pages.
May Marc Bodnick, Quora's business, and moderation team leader and spokesman announce that he is leaving the company.
Aug Quora announces support for the Spanish language.
Oct Quora launched a Spanish version of its website.
Nov Wikimedia Foundation trustee Kelly Battles were announced as a new chief financial officer (CFO).
2017

A beta version of Quora in French was announced.

Feb Announced changes to its anonymity feature.

Integrates Wikidata into its topic management.

Apr Quora claimed to have 190 million monthly unique visitors.

Quora raises $85 million in a Series D funding round at a $1.8 billion valuation, with Collaborative Fund and Y Combinator as investors.

May Beta versions in German and Italian were introduced.
Jul Quora announces support for the German and Italian languages.
Aug Quora was highly criticized for removing question details.
Sep A beta version in Japanese was launched.

Quora announced changes to their anonymity feature.

2018

Quora was hacked leading to the loss of information of users to hackers.

Feb Announces the launch of the links feature.
Apr Quora launches Video Answers.

Introduces the Quora Partner Program.

Beta versions in Hindi, Portuguese, and Indonesian were launched.

May Announces the launch of sharing.
Aug Launches the ability for users to share links.
Sep Quora plans to add versions in Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch.

Quora reported that it was receiving 300 million unique visitors every month.

Nov Quora launches the "Spaces" feature and subsequently converts existing blogs on the platform to spaces.
Dec Quora announced that approximately 100 million user accounts were affected by a data breach.
2019
Jan Support for the Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Marathi, Bengali, and Tamil languages.
May Quora was valued at $2 billion as a company and it was finalizing a $60 million investment round.
Dec Quora announced that it would open its first international engineering office in Vancouver.

Support for the Arabic, Gujarati, Hebrew, Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu languages.

2020
Jan A number of Quora employees are laid off.

A retired Palestinian American professor, Rima Najjar Merriman, filed a lawsuit against Quora at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Mar Merriman filed for voluntary dismissal of her lawsuit against Quora without admitting guilt.
Jun Adam D'Angelo announced that Quora would become "remote first", as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
2021
Apr Quora required users to register with the complete form of their real names rather than an Internet pseudonym (screen name), and was canceled shortly after.

Network Features

Quora can best be explained as a cross between Yahoo! Answers and social media. It is a place people go to find the answers to their questions and connect with other people who have similar interests. It’s also a great place for anyone who loves to share information and answers with others.

Allows users to get their questions answered—any question at all, from the meaning of life to everyday phenomena to advanced questions about CSS and HTML.

And Quora makes it easy for these information-seekers to share words of wisdom with the world, and therefore grow brand and online exposure free of charge.

Quora For Marketing

If you’re a blogger, writer, author, public relations expert, or marketer, Quora will make it easy for you to get your message out there and to find the exact message your market wants and needs.

Quora For Reputation Management And Proactive Customer Service

The first thing you’ll want to do is type in your name, your company’s name, and any product or service brand names you own in Quora to see if anything comes up. If there are already questions about you or your company, go ahead and answer them intelligently.

Provide your customers with the best, most up-to-date information you can, and they will appreciate the information and your proactiveness in responding to their concerns.

This is being proactive about customer service. If someone does have a problem in the future and types that question into Quora, it’ll pop up and they’ll see your answer right away.

Interacting With Other Users

If you are using Quora to promote yourself or your business, then interacting with other users is a critical part of your Quora experience. These interactions can be brief or ongoing.

The most important thing is to make them repeatable. The more often someone sees your name, the more likely they are to remember you. The more often they find you have something interesting or relevant to say, the more likely they are to turn to you when they need information or support.

Useful Quora Features

Search Page

You can search for any questions, answers, or topics on Quora.

Monitor Questions

Monitoring questions is a great way to stay in the loop if you want to learn more about a specific topic. It’s also a great way to spy on the competition and see how they’re answering questions.

Manage Topics

By managing a topic, you can add aliases, merge two topics that are the same, delete topics, and more.

Useful Quora Features

Search Page

You can search for any questions, answers, or topics on Quora.

Monitor Questions

Monitoring questions is a great way to stay in the loop if you want to learn more about a specific topic. It’s also a great way to spy on the competition and see how they’re answering questions.

Manage Topics

By managing a topic, you can add aliases, merge two topics that are the same, delete topics, and more.

Answer changelog

Quora keeps a log of all changes to answers. Some users don’t like it, but it provides a lot of transparency and openness to the system. It can also help keep users from stealing other people’s ideas, or crowdsourcing responses, to make their answers appear the best or most comprehensive.

User Endorsements Page

You can endorse other users on Quora, and they can endorse you. This rarely used feature can be a great way to get more exposure and add credibility to your Quora profile.

Redirecting Questions Ad Answers

You can redirect questions and/or answers on Quora. This is useful if there are two questions that are basically the same. Generally, you should redirect the question with the least answers to the question with the most answers.

You can also redirect answers if you feel that answer is applicable to a different question.

Mark As The Best Answer

You can mark an answer as Best Answer and that will feature that answer at the top to let people know it’s the best answer.

Editing Questions And Question Details

You can edit your questions and question details at any time. If you’re not getting any good answers, try changing the question or adding in question details that might help potential answering members!

Not For Reproduction

Quora has a settings button under each of your answers. If you click it, there’s an option to mark your answer as “Not for Reproduction.” If you mark it not for reproduction, you will have to give a reason why you don’t want the answer reproduced. Then, the words “Not for Reproduction” will appear next to your answer.

Your reason for making it Not for Reproduction will be shown in your answer log as well.

This gives intellectual property holders more flexibility and control over the content they post on Quora, which is a great improvement over some other social networks.

Browsing Best Answers

Click on any topic and on the topic page you’ll find a “best answers” section. This section usually contains truly inspired stuff. If you ever find yourself with some free time, you should go to topics that interest you on Quora and read the best questions.

Content Moderation

Quora supports various features to moderate content posted by users. The majority of content moderation is done by algorithm, though staff can also intervene.

Answer recommendations

Quora has developed its own proprietary algorithm to rank answers, which works similarly to Google's PageRank.

Uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud technology to host the servers that run its website.

Currently, Quora has different ways to recommend questions to users:

  • Home feed question recommendations: In this method, users have a timeline that is personalized to their preferences. Quora also provides "interesting" questions that are relevant to those preferences.
  • Daily digest: In this method, Quora sends a daily email containing a set of questions with one answer that is deemed the best answer, given certain ranking criteria.
  • Related questions: In this method, a set of questions that relates to the current question is displayed on the side. This display is not tailored to the specific user.
  • Answer requested: This feature allows users to forward a question to users they deem more suitable to answer that question.

Quora Blog

Quora Blog
																	Quora Blog interface. (via quora.com)

Unlike a regular blog, your Quora blog is only accessible to other Quora users. However, that doesn’t make it any less valuable within the Quora community. And if you have linked your Quora account to other social media, you can share your Quora blog with those networks as well.

The Quora blog is the “next step” in building your Quora network and reputation. While your answers and questions will show up in the feed of anyone who is following the topic, your blog posts show up in the feed of the people who have chosen to follow you.

The blog should be updated regularly. It doesn’t matter what schedule you update on, just try to find a schedule you can stick to. The more content you put up, the more chances you have for someone to find your blog, and you.

Quora For Business

Quora For Business
																	Quora for business interface. (via quora.com)

Quora is a relatively new platform, and is still growing and adapting.

As you explore marketing your business on Quora, keep your eyes open for changes that may create new opportunities or alter existing practices.

Experiment to find the ratio of answers, comments, and blog posting that works for you. Play around with social media and how best to integrate your current social media plan with your Quora activity.

The possibilities may not be endless, but they are immense.

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