Quora announced the launch of an updated iOS app to coincide with the release of iOS 7. The app (version 3.0) has been redesigned from the ground up. We spoke with, Marc Bodnick, who leads Quroa’s business and community teams, about the new app, and the company’s strategy.
“We were so excited by he new platform, we moved quickly to launch a new app,” he said of iOS 7, first unveiled earlier this year at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Bodnick told us they threw away all the code from the old app, and built this one completely from scratch.
iOS 7 puts content first, above UI, he said, adding that this is consistent with Quora’s mission. That mission, for the record, is “to share and grow the world’s knowledge.”
According to Bodnick, iOS 7 allowed Quora to build an app with “effortless” and “frictionless” reading. They got rid of buttons and menus in favor of gestures and swipes.
They’ve separated the feed into five different views for top stories, questions/answers, open questions, blogs and reviews.
“Everything is made faster,” he said, comparing the feed experience to that of Facebook’s, in that you don’t have to leave the feed to engage with content. This was a challenge, Bodnick said, because of the long-form content that Quora offers. The app, he said, is “a product about reading.”
The biggest challenge, however, was designing for screen size. That, according to Bodnick, is why the iPad might be the best way to consume content on Quora.
And with that, the company is also committing to launching on all iOS devices (including the iPad and iPad Mini) by the end of the year.
One third of Quora’s audience is mobile, and mobile users spend twice as long using Quora than desktop users. The new app and commitment to IOS represents the company prioritizing mobile, Bodnick said. In fact, its mobile team has grown in size by four times.
Using Quora from a mobile device, as Bodnick describes it, benefits from the same catalogue of content (which boasts 400,000 topics), and people are using it as a “second screen” a lot, while they’re watching TV shows, news, movies, sports, etc. Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones have been the two biggest topics of the year, he says. People are even using it for info related to their fantasy sports teams.
Now obviously with this prioritization on mobile, there are some noticeable absences from the app release news.
Bodnick would not comment on the timing of an Android release, but said they try to keep parity between the iPhone and Android. As he pointed out, Quora already launched some features for Android earlier this year to keep things somewhat consistent. You can probably expect an Android update similar to today’s IOS update in the not too distant future.
Quora currently has no plans for Windows Phone.
All images: Quora