Feeds

Facebook beta joins web Q&A craze

Ask 500 million people a question...bitch

New hybrid storage solutions

Facebook has unveiled a limited beta of its long-rumored question-and-answer service, a tool that lets you toss questions at people who spend lots of time on Facebook.

The service is dubbed, yes, Facebook Questions.

"Millions of people ask their friends questions on Facebook every day. What new music should I listen to? Where's the best sushi place in town? How do I learn to play the piano?" reads a blog post from the company, which now boasts 500 million users.

"Facebook Questions...lets you pose questions like these to the Facebook community. With this new application, you can get a broader set of answers and learn valuable information from people knowledgeable on a range of topics."

This limited Facebook beta is similar to the limited beta introduced by Ask.com earlier this week. When you ask a question, Facebook shuttles it to people it believes will know the answer. To grease the process, you can tag questions with certain keywords, and Facebook will match those keywords to what users have listed as their interests. The site will also send the question to all your Facebook "friends." And friends of those friends.

The questions are in no way private. Facebook makes it clear that they will be available to the web at large. You have the option of browsing a database of questions and answers or "following" particular questions, which means the site will send you an alert each time a new answer is posted.

The service adds an "Ask Question" button to the top of the Facebook homepage. Or you can ask questions of particular users by posting to their profile page. You can also attach photos and polls to questions. "Wondering which video game system is better for your 8 year-old cousin: Nintendo Wii or XBox? Make a poll."

Google recently purchased Aardvark, a startup offering a service similar to Facebook Questions. And, of course, there's the old Yahoo! Answers, which does Q&A without actually routing questions to particular users. On Yahoo!, users must actively seek out answers they'd like to answer. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.