Some users have begun reporting seeing a new “Questions” product within their homepage, something oddly similar to Quora, a product developed by ex-Facebook employees that also recently raised funding at an $86 million valuation. While it doesn’t appear that this product has any integration with Quora, it appears to be in direct competition to Quora as well as Yahoo! Answers.
How this new product will function is not exactly clear. Whether this is a new revenue model, a new product aimed at improving ad targeting, or just an “added value” service that’s freely available to Facebook users is unknown. That Facebook is currently testing this product with users outside the company however, suggests that Facebook does is considering doing a full scale rollout of the product.
The “Questions” product partially resembles the polls product that the company previously rolled out, later dropping it, months after being first implemented. If Facebook is indeed rolling out their own internal questions product in the same vein as Quora, there could be significant tension moving forward.
For Facebook to directly compete with a team of ex-Facebook employees despite have a wealth of opportunity to build other products which aren’t in direct competition, marks an interesting milestone. While it’s difficult to speculate what Facebook intends to do with this new questions product, there are some interesting implications of Facebook rolling out its own crowdsourced answers product.