This afternoon Facebook announced the official release of Facebook Questions, a service which is being described as “a beta product that lets you pose questions to the Facebook community”. The answers are a mixed response of public answers as well as answers directly from your friends and their friends. Just like Quora, questions can be tagged with various topics, and then users can browse based on those topics. All questions and answers will be completely public. So when will this roll out for everyone?
Right now the product will only be launched to a beta group, however Questions will be rolled out based on how the beta test performs. There are a number of significant features within questions that are not provided by competing services (i.e. Quora). For example, users will be able to add photos to a question, create polls, and browse through questions based on categories. One other substantial feature that many Page administrators will welcome, is the ability to ask questions directly from a Facebook Page.
Unfortunately, this product is still limited to a small group of testers, however it will eventually be expanded. One other pretty impressive feature is that users who define interests within their profile will have questions surfaced to them based on that information. In other words, it functions identically to Quora which also has a questions based profile for users. Just like Quora, Facebook Questions also has the ability to “Follow” specific questions and receive updates any time someone submits a new answer.
While we haven’t had the opportunity to play around with the Questions product yet, we will be able to explore this more in depth beginning at 1 PM Pacific. If you are not included in this round of the beta test, do not despair. Facebook plans on rolling this out to more users in the near future. Facebook also told us that for now, there are no plans to integrate questions into Facebook Ads, even though we personally can see the benefit of doing so.
To view the Questions product, simply visit http://www.facebook.com/questions.