Exclusive: Ask Aims To Make Q&A More Social
Earlier this year Ask.com opened up its community portion of the site to its entire user base. This gave users the ability to ask questions and get answers from people. Since then, the company has been re-tooling its site looking for ways to get users more engaged.
“As we’ve all seen, Q&A sites are growing in popularity and there’s a reason for it; people are inherently curious AND want to share their expertise and answers/opinions,” Ask CTO Lisa Kavanaugh tells WebProNews. “By seeing how our 60 million users are interacting on Ask.com, people really do want to help others out by sharing their own knowledge and opinions on topics they care about.”
Ask is rolling out a new feature on its Category pages – the top categories of questions people ask on the site. Categories include: Arts, Cars & Transportation, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Politics & Government, Science, Sports & Recreation, Technology, etc. Ask will place the most asked and answered questions front and center.
Ask believes this will drive the community to become more social (answering, commenting and asking more questions). The Category pages themselves, Ask says, are designed to create appealing destinations people return to often.
“These pages have been reorganized to create a compelling destination for Ask.com users that are passionate about certain topics, prompting them to ask more questions, and compelling them to answer more meaningfully,” the company tells us. “These pages are more visually appealing and engaging because they’re showing what excites people most by pushing the most popular content front and center.”
“Ask.com is always studying and analyzing user behavior in the community and we proactively made this change,” a spokesperson says. “We’re exploring several new techniques to help keep users engaged on the site even longer and to keep Ask as their go-to destination when it comes to getting answers to their questions. We believe this change will help increase engagement on the category pages and increase content contribution in each category.”
Users will still be able to view recently asked questions, and can see them by scrolling down on each Category Page.
Ask says it gets twice as many visits from people who pose questions to each other, as opposed to the search box. That’s pretty obvious if you think about it. They’re going to return to see the answers. 60 million users is a lot of people. Keeping them coming back and finding a way to keep them engaged is key.