Social Q&A service Quora launched today full-text mobile search on its iPhone and Android apps. With this new feature, users will be able to search for answers to their questions quickly while on the go, leveraging the same capabilities that already exist on the Web. The company tells us that approximately one-third of all of Quora’s users come from a mobile device.
Prior to today, users who ran a search would only receive questions and topics about that keyword. Another screen tap would need to be made in order to ascertain whether that particular question was what the user was looking for. In today’s release, Quora’s algorithm looks at not only the question, but also the description and even the answers themselves.
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One of the things that may cause frustration with search is duplication of content. With user-generated questions, things may be phrased a different way, but still be the same thing. Quora recognized that this problem may occur and utilized a merge and redirect feature that takes similarly worded questions and consolidates it into a single entry. The company tells us that the mobile search tool will not only parse through questions, but also blog posts.
Quora believes that with mobile features, it’s all about immediacy and helping someone figure out what action to take. It admits that previously, it was difficult for a user to discover answers on a phone or a tablet. Now with search, users can easily find answers to a question they’ve been asking quickly and then move them on to something else.
It’s believed that mobile search will create an opportunity for users in the long-term. The company believes that the larger its knowledge library gets with questions and answers, the greater the chance of it functioning like an automated FAQ section about any particular topic. For example, I might search for “Great Gatsby” in Quora and it will display questions like “Is the Great Gatsby overrated?”, “What influence, if any did The Great Gatsby have on American literature?”, and more.
Quora says that mobile usage will continue to become more important to it in the coming years. Certainly, being able to find content quickly will help bolster the user experience in the app.
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