It didn’t take long for something to be overhyped in social media circles in 2011 did it? Quora – the Q&A site with, well, absolutely no difference to any other Q&A site – is being touted as the next big thing, Twitter-killer and so on.
Now I wish it well, but in all likelihood it’s doomed – and it’s doomed for five very simple reasons…
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Why Quora will be a social media flash in the pan
- It has no USP. Yes, you can ask questions on it, but you can do that on Google or any other platform and get instant results.
- The answers aren’t unique to you because Quora isn’t a trusted, personalised network as good as Twitter or Facebook. Yes, you can check out people’s profiles to see who they are but at the end of the day people want answers they can trust – and they can trust answers best from their own social networks (their friends on Twitter and Facebook for example) – yes, you can have your friends on Quora but if you already have them on Twitter and Facebook why log in to a third site to get answers from people you know (and people who also know you) and trust? It’s a needless repitition.
- It’s been hyped quite quick. I know it didn’t launch this week but history has shown that all the successful social media sites are very slow burners – Facebook, Twitter and so on didn’t become top of their trees overnight. It took years of ups and downs. Quora has lingered, been boosted into the headlines and will most likely fade away again.
- There’s no app (Android, iPhone or otherwise).
- What’s to stop a thread or topic being hijacked by agenda setters the same way they hijack Wiki pages? Nothing.
Number 2 is the main reason though. Time is precious for people now so why log in to a site when they can go to a site they are already on and ask the question there and reach all their friends instead of a subsection? If I ask Quora what a film is like or what’s a good whisky then I’ll get random answers. If I ask on Twitter or Facebook, my existing friends know my tastes and will advise accordingly.
UPDATE: Mashable has a decent post along similar lines but thanks to Mike McGrail for pointing out this Quora spoof that nails it exactly.