Facebook Questions Debuts In Beta

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Inquisitive people, rejoice.  Facebook, with its enormous user base and familiar layout, entered the question and answer space this afternoon by launching Facebook Questions.  The product's still in beta right now, meaning not everyone can use it, but it's already looking well-integrated and rather interesting.

Blake Ross, a director of product management, explained on the Facebook Blog, "To ask a question to the community, just click the 'Ask Question' button at the top of the homepage.  You can also ask questions about your friends from their profiles, similarly to how you would post on their Walls."

Then Ross delved into the pair of features that set Facebook Questions apart from some older Q&A services.  First, he noted, "After you ask a question, you have the option of adding a photo or a poll."

Next, Ross wrote, "To help us show your question to the most relevant people and ensure the best answers, you can tag it with a specific topic."

These features should put Facebook Questions ahead of many dedicated Q&A sites, and even sites that offer more extras will have trouble standing up to the accessibility of Facebook's 500 million users.

Just know that all of the questions and answers contributed to Facebook Questions will be made public, so some competitors might continue to do all right due to privacy concerns.