Utility focussed

Facebook launches ‘Questions’. Less For Traffic, More For Engagement

Facebook announced  overhauled ‘Questions’ feature  has already started rolling. This article will tell you about new launch ‘ask questions on Facebook’. 

Early impressions are good and people are participating actively by answering questions asked by their peers and peers of peers and so on. Everyone might not be able to see ‘Questions‘ enabled in their Facebook account just yet but it should be enabled for everyone within a couple of days from now.

Here are some early impressions of Facebook ‘Questions’:

1. Facebook doesn’t intend to make ‘Questions’ a formal QnA stuff: During limited beta testing, Facebook realized that formal QnA isn’t going to work great on Facebook. People come to Facebook for fun, not for writing long, elaborative answers to technical/intellectual queries of friends or anonymous people. That’s why, Facebook is not really positioning ‘Questions’ as a ‘serious QnA‘ but another tool for asking recommendations from friends, friends of friends and so on.

2. ‘Questions’ is more like ‘Polls’: Facebook wants greater user participation and that’s possible if questions come along with options. People would be more likely to pick a pre-defined option rather than answering questions from the scratch and that’s why the majority of Facebook questions will pop with options. Still, Facebook has also enabled the option for other users to add their own option, if their answer doesn’t fall into any of the pre-defined options by the asking user.

3. ‘Questions’ is meant to grow engagement rather than traffic: ‘Questions’ is restricted within Facebook and isn’t open to the outside world, aka search engines, at least for now. That means, Facebook is not taking the approach of attracting massive search engine traffic that could come from the Infobase (especially recommendations), which ‘Questions’  will inevitably create for Facebook. From another perspective, Facebook is compromising short term profits for long term engagement. Facebook wants people to engage and participate more with the help of ‘questions’, that’s it.

4.’ Questions’ is currently private but well positioned to become public anytime soon: As elaborated above, Facebook questions will remain walled and outside access to ‘Questions’ won’t be permitted until user is logged into Facebook. But that doesn’t mean ‘Questions’ will never go public and Lord Zuckerberg will keep abstaining from monetizing humongous amount of traffic that ‘Questions’ may likely generate for Facebook. Just try to figure out why Facebook is getting absurdly high valuation of over $70Bn at a stage when they’re just generating revenues close to $1-2Bn. It’s all about the future and how much will they be monetized in the days to come. The best part about ‘questions’ is that no one should feel offended if ‘Questions’ ever opens to search engines.

Although it’s too early to access the success or failure of ‘Questions’, one can at least agree on the fact that the chances of failure are less pretty, especially when you take into account over 600 million users that Facebook currently has.

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