Facebook is getting ready to launch a new product to its millions of users but first they are looking for some beta testers to help make it great. Facebook does not make it totally clear what this product will be but it appears to be modeled after Yahoo! Answers and other “question-answer” sites like EHow.com and WikiHow.com. Sites like these allow users to post any sort of question they can think of and then other users are allowed to answer the question. Those that give good answers receive better ratings and can gain “expert” status for certain topics. If you would like to be one of the lucky beta testers you can apply here by submitting three great sample questions and answers. If you are selected you will be flown to Facebook headquarters in California to meet the team!
Since its launch Facebook’s goal has been to provide a platform for family/friends to keep in touch in a simple and efficient way. But like any business, Facebook is trying to make money and that is achieved by not only attracting a large number of users but also providing useful tools to keep them on your site (so they can provide impressions/clicks for those taking advantage of Facebook advertising).
If Facebook is successful in creating a question/answer forum similar to other leading sites then a Facebook user will have the ability to search for the answer to a question and find useful answers from experts. And they will be able to do all of this within Facebook instead of having to go to a search engine.
Another huge positive to a product like this is how well these types of sites rank on search engines. If you search any sort of question you are bound to find the three sites mentioned above as well as hundreds of other “How To” sites. The sites sitting at the top are usually the sites with the most answers to the question. So, if a lot of people ask questions and a lot of people answer questions then you get better rankings for these questions on the search engines and receive more traffic. If Facebook perfects this new feature they will add stickiness to their site while also generating more and more traffic. And the best part is that all of the work is done by Facebook users!
Hard to tell what the result will be as Facebook has failed multiple times with new products. But you will be able to tell this fall when you’re searching for “what to make for a college football tailgate?” If you see a result from Facebook Answers…you’ll know they are heading in the right direction!