The largest Question and Answer site in the world has breached the 100 Million-user mark. The majority of Quora’s users come from India and the second highest are from the United States.Quora also has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to scale higher. Quora has been able to attract really top members from different fields to participate in their Questions and Answers.
Quora boasts of members who are Scientists, Astronauts, Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, Actors and even the President of the United States. Quora has nailed the engagement aspect for the user and is one of the most addictive sites on the planet. To keep this going, Quora needs to make money. How do they do it?
First let’s get to the obvious ways of monetization that is practiced on the Internet.
Quora can have advertisements because their content is segregated by topic and would give advertisers the opportunity to advertise to a very specific set of highly engaged people. The advertisements on Quora can be a big set back for the users because honestly ads are terrible. Nobody wants to see ads. Quora will also lose some of its authority, if they start letting advertisers show ads on their platform.
This is another way Quora can be monetized. Many Quora users are business owners who want to promote their services and drive traffic to their website. Quora could use a promote content feature where existing users could promote their content to reach a wider audience.
Quora did try a credits feature where, you would gain credits for answering questions, asking questions and also when your answers get upvoted. People would use their credits they gained to promote their new content. Promoting content would bring in a lot of marketers who would soon start making a Quora a platform of marketing. The genuine answers will dry up. Answers with an agenda will keep popping up.
How does Quora make Money?
The Monetizing strategy they are experimenting with :
Quora is experimenting with a very novel way of monetization called Knowledge Prizes. Knowledge Prizes are basically when somebody wants an answer to a very important question and they are willing to pay money for an answer. The people vote for the best answer and the money goes to them. For example, you can see that somebody from Tesla wants to know about how Apple’s car will be a threat to their company.
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I see this as a very innovative monetization model. And the use cases are far and wide. In terms of companies using it for now, it’s great. Most companies are busy with their own internal challenges that they don’t get the outsiders perspective. A lot of companies have tunnel vision and may miss out on the obvious and this way it’s a great opportunity to get a differing view that could change the direction of the company.
Do you think this could be a sustainable monetization model? Would people be willing to pay money for getting their questions answered? Will College students use this platform to get their projects done or will there be a bigger impact?
Let us know your views.