Ask announced a couple weeks ago that it would be debuting a new mobile app called Ask Around here at SXSW. WebProNews caught up with Ask.com Chief Product and Technology Officer Lisa Kavanaugh to talk about it a little.
"We found that search was getting sort of commoditized, and for us it was really about questions and answers, and our users forgot what they were coming to us for," she tells us. "We've just been investing there, and we found that we use search as an advantage to pulling the answers that are already on the web."
"We've taken the Q&A concept to mobile, which is the really natural use case," she adds. "People are on the go. They have a question and they want it answered right now, so now, we've taken that to ou mobile app."
"We've found that people are starting to use it as a chat a bit," she says. "They're using it, they're commenting, they're wanting to talk with each other in the Q&A experience. So to tackle that, we've created a separate app, which we're debuting here at SXSW."
The app itself takes advantage of location, features a map, and let's you see what's going on where you're at. You can login with your Facebook account, so that should reduce any friction in using the app for most people.
"The identity is really important to us, and have it be your real identity. And chat with people that are right there where you are, to see what's going on," says Kavanaugh.
She says they're using the app as an experiment to see where it takes Ask in the mobile, LBS realm.