Quora
Quora, Inc.
Quora logo 2015.svg
Type of business Private
Type of site
Question & answer
Available in

English, French,

German, Spanish, Italian
Founded June 2009; 8 years ago (2009-06)
Headquarters Mountain View, California, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Adam D'Angelo
Charlie Cheever
Key people Adam D'Angelo (CEO)
Kelly Battles (CFO)[1]
Slogan(s) The best answer to any question.
Website www.quora.com
Alexa rank Increase 111 (Global) (July 2017)[2]
Registration Required
Launched June 21, 2010; 7 years ago (2010-06-21)
Current status Active
Written in Python, C++[3]

Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. Its publisher, Quora, Inc., is based in Mountain View, California. The company was founded in June 2009, and the website was made available to the public on June 21, 2010.[4] Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users' answers.[5]

History

Quora was co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Adam D'Angelo, and Charlie Cheever. They made this site for those who cannot find appropriate answers to a question. General questions are available, of almost every topic. This site is also made for students who desire to explore topics in-depth.

Quora's base of users grew quickly, beginning with spikes in Dec 2010.[6] As of April 2017, Quora claimed to have 190 million monthly unique visitors, up from 100 million a year earlier.[7]

In June 2011, Quora redesigned its website, in order to make information discovery and navigation easier.[8] Quora released an official iPhone app on September 29, 2011, followed by an Android app on September 5, 2012.

In September 2012, Quora announced that co-founder Charlie Cheever was stepping back from a day-to-day role at the firm, although he would continue in an advisory role.[9]

In January 2013, Quora launched a blogging platform.[10]

Quora launched full text search of questions and answers on its website on March 20, 2013,[11] and extended the feature to mobile devices in late May 2013.[12] It also announced in May 2013 that all its usage metrics had tripled relative to the same time in the prior year.[13] In November 2013, Quora introduced a feature called Stats to allow all Quora users to see summary and detailed statistics regarding how many people had viewed, upvoted, followed, and shared their questions and answers.[14][15] TechCrunch reported that, although Quora had no immediate plans for monetization, they believed that search ads would likely be their eventual source of revenue.[16]

In April 2014, it was announced that Quora was raising $80 million from Tiger Global at a reported $900 million valuation.[17][18][19][20] Quora was also one of the members of the Summer 2014 Y Combinator batch.[21][22][23]

In March 2016, Quora acquired Parlio online community website.[24] In April of that year, the company also began a limited rollout of advertising on the site.[25]

In October 2016, Quora launched Quora in Spanish to the public.[26] Following this announcement in early 2017, a beta of Quora in French was announced.[27] According to this last announcement, the next languages Quora will be available in are German and Italian.

In April 2017, Quora was reported to have received Series D funding, with a valuation of $1.8 billion.[28]

Operation

Quora requires users to register with their real names rather than an Internet pseudonym (screen name);[29] although verification of names is not required, false names can be reported by the community. This was done with the ostensible intent of adding credibility to answers, but Quora also has thousands of anonymous answers with thousands of upvotes. Visitors unwilling to log in or use cookies have had to resort to workarounds to use the site.[30] Users may also log in with their Google or Facebook accounts using the OpenID protocol. They can upvote or downvote answers, and suggest edits to extant answers provided by other users. The Quora community includes some well-known people, such as Jimmy Wales, Richard A. Muller, Barack Obama, and Adrián Lamo.[31][32][33][34]

Quora has developed its own proprietary algorithm to rank answers, which works similarly to Google PageRank.[35] Quora uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud technology to host the servers that run its website.[36][37]

Currently, Quora has different ways to recommend questions to users:[38]

  • Home feed questions recommendations: In this method each user will have a timeline that is personalized to their preferences. Quora also provides "interesting" questions that are relevant to the user's preferences. This will lead to the user either answering that question or refers another user to better answer it.
  • Daily Digest: In this method, Quora sends a daily email containing a set of questions with one answer that is deemed the best answer given certain ranking requirements.
  • Related Questions: In this method, whether the user is logged in or not, a set of questions that relates to the current questions will be recommended and displayed on the side. This will help the user navigate through the questions and find what is more relevant to their preference.
  • Ask to Answer: This feature enables the user to recommend another user that they feel is fit or better suited to answer that question.

Reception

Quora was reviewed extensively by the media in 2010.[39][40][41]

According to Robert Scoble, Quora succeeded in combining attributes of Twitter and Facebook.[42] Later, in 2011, Scoble criticized Quora for being a "horrid service for blogging", and although a decent question and answer website, not substantially better than competitors.[43]

As of August 2017, according to Alexa, the largest user base of Quora, 35.1 percent, is in the United States, followed by India at 20.1 percent.[44]

Content moderation

Quora supports various features to moderate content posted by users. The majority of content moderation is done by the users, though staff can intervene as well.

  • Upvote/Downvote - Users can rank answers based on how relevant or helpful they found the answers to be. This feature helps maintain the quality of content posted online.[45] The more Upvotes an article receives, the higher it is ranked and thus shows up on top of the searches related to the question.
  • Report Answer - Users can report plagiarism, harassment, spam, factually incorrect articles, etc. This keeps sub-standard content under check.
  • Suggest Edits - Users make suggestions to improve an article by proposing changes to it. The proposed changes are also made visible to the original author of the question or answer, and can be either approved or rejected.

Anonymity concerns

Quora allows users to create user profiles where they can add their real names, photo, topics to follow, number of followers, questions answered by them, etc. Users can choose to keep these settings private. Each user with a user profile has access to activity feed which has topics of interests to the user. The feed is displayed on the home page and helps organize content in a chronological order.

In August 2012, blogger Ivan Kirigin pointed out that it was possible for acquaintances and followers to see his activity including which questions he had looked at.[46] In response, Quora stopped showing question views in feeds later that month. By default, Quora exposes its users' profiles, including their real names, to search engines.[47]

In contrast with other major information sites, Quora does place restrictions on anonymity. Quora allows questions and answers to be posted anonymously, but it does not allow anonymous comments to be posted as direct responses to answers. Anonymous users can no longer upvote, comment, merge questions, suggest edits, or send answer requests.[48] This new restriction was enacted to suppress an unspecified number of negative anonymous comments.

Recent controversy involving the restriction of the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine stems, at least to some degree, from Quora's requirement that its question and answer site enforce some type of identity validation. Citing possible user remorse over previously posted content, the Wayback Machine was banned entirely from crawling Quora.

Posterity

Quora has attracted controversy for using robots.txt to forbid the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine from crawling the site.[49] Their stated reason is that the Wayback APIs as of 2016 do not give users a way to censor answers that they may regret previously posting. Critics have raised concerns about the fate of Quora's data if the site ever goes offline, and recommended Stack Overflow as an easily archived alternative.[50]

Top Writers Program

In November 2012, Quora introduced the Top Writers Program as a way to recognize individuals who had made especially valuable content contributions to the site, and encourage them to continue. Top writers are invited to occasional events and receive gifts such as branded clothing items and books. The company believes that, by cultivating a group of core users who are particularly invested in the site, the program creates a feedback loop of user engagement.[51]

Timeline

Date Event type Details
June 2009 Product Quora founded
March 2010 Funding Quora raises $11 million in a series A, with Benchmark Capital as an investor[52]
June 2010 Product Quora announces that it will open up to the public[53]
January 2011 Team Marc Bodnick leaves Elevation Partners to join Quora[54]
February 2011 Technology Quora chooses C++ over C for its high performance services[55]
July 2011 Product Quora introduces video to its Q&A pages[56]
July 2011 Product Quora introduces Credits for asking-to-answer questions[57]
September 2011 Product Quora introduces threaded comments and comment voting[58]
May 2012 Funding Quora raises $50 million in a series B, with Peter Thiel and Adam D'Angelo as investors[52]
September 2012 Team Co-founder Charlie Cheever leaves[59]
November 2012 Product Quora introduces Top Writers program[60]
January 2013 Product Quora introduces blogs[10]
March 2013 Product Quora introduces a policy eliminating image-only answers.[61]
April 2014 Funding Quora raises $80 million in a series C at $900 million valuation, with Tiger Global Management and Y Combinator as investors[52][62]
January 2016 Product Quora announces bounty system, offering financial bounties for the best answer (selected by the question asker) on select questions.[63]
March 2016 Product Quora acquires Parlio, an online Q&A site started by Wael Ghonim.[64]
April 2016 Product Quora announces that it will start out testing advertisements, on a small number of question pages.[65]
May 2016 Team Marc Bodnick, Quora's public face and leader of its business and moderation team, announces that he is leaving the company.
August 2016 Product Quora announces support for the Spanish language.[66]
November 2016 Team Kelly Battles announced as new chief financial officer (CFO).[1][67]
April 2017 Funding Quora raises $85 million in a series D at $1.8 billion valuation, with Collaborative Fund and Y Combinator as investors[68]

See also

References

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External links


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