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BACK Launches Human-Powered Q&A to All 63 Million Users

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 20:39

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- today opened its live Q&A community of users to 100 percent of its audience. Previously only accessible to a portion of its traffic as part of a limited beta, Ask People is now available to any user looking for an answer from a real person. As part of this milestone, the company also unveiled a new look and feel to more deeply infuse user-generated answers across the site and within search results. The redesign accelerates's transition from pure algorithmic Web search to a Q&A site and mobile service fueled by the ability to search the Web for answers or connect with other users for personal opinions.

"Ask's approach to Q&A is unique – we embrace questions where we can deliver answers in milliseconds from content on the Web, but also deeply appreciate that crawlers can't replace human experience," said Doug Leeds, CEO, "Our limited exposure beta period allowed us to learn where humans and search best intersect as mechanisms for getting credible answers to the millions of questions – fact-based or subjective – we receive each day. Today's launch combines the best of these two worlds into a single, comprehensive Q&A destination."

The new launch and redesign make the following available to's 63 million users:

  • Flexibility and Choice – With a new tabbed interface on the homepage, users can choose which experience makes sense for their question: searching the Web for a published answer immediately, or tapping a community of users for personal answers and recommendations.
  • Ask People – The ability to join Ask People and exchange questions and answers with others is now available to all users. Answers with positive user feedback are indexed and will surface in response to relevant searches conducted in the Search the Web tab. Ask People also includes the ability to browse Q&A content by social connections or topic areas.
  • Web Search tailored for Q&A –'s Q&A focused algorithms go beyond page rank and link counts to actually match queries with real answers. A search on benefits from a number of these technologies working in the background, including Ask-curated Smart Answers and a database of more than 700 million Q&A pairs, to produce a real answer at the top of the page instead of ten blue links.
  • User Q&A Content Front and Center – A new, streamlined design showcases more user-generated Q&A throughout the homepage and overall site via "People Are Asking" and "Related Q&A" sections.
  • Improved Sharing and Social Features – Users can now share questions and answers of interest across multiple social platforms.

The new and improved Ask Q&A experience is also accessible via applications on the iOS and Android platforms. To download the Ask app for Android or iPhone, please go to

About is the number one online brand for questions and answers and an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI). is the fourth largest site in the US for unique searches according to May 2011 comScore data, with 63 million domestic unique monthly users.


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