On Quora, Reddit, ASKfm, A Blockchain-Powered Disruption Is Brewing
Blockchain technology is by nature disruptive — the decentralization that it offers contrasts sharply with the centralized business models of many of the businesses in existence. Blockchain technology is already disrupting finances with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ripple. Business organization models are being disrupted with platforms such as DAOstack and NEO. And Smart Contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain are disrupting the conventional flow of business interactions between counter parties.
Now, blockchain technology could potentially change how knowledge is shared across Q&A social network sites. This piece provides insight into the business models of three Q&A networks with a special emphasis on how one of the firms is trying to leverage blockchain technology to disrupt the narrative.
Quora was founded in 2009 by two Facebook employees, Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo. It was designed to be the home of insightful user-generated content arising from questions, answers, and edits. With a monthly active user of 190 million people who have asked questions on more than 400,000; topics, Quora as established itself as a stakeholder among Q&A social network platforms.
Quora’s revenue model is still in its formative stages; but for now, the firm makes money through advertisements – not surprising if you consider the background of its founders in Facebook.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). The firm survived the first seven years on venture capital, but it started testing ads last year and it appears that those ads will become a permanent fixture on the platform. Quora has also shown a reluctance to support sponsored posts because it wants the community to critique each answer on its own merit so that users can find the most relevant answers at the top.
Ask.fm is currently the biggest Q&A discussion platform in the world, it has more than 215 million registered members from 168 countries. Askfm’s value proposition is that it allows people to anonymously communicate, learn from other people’s experience, and solve their dilemmas without the social awkwardness of shyness that users experience on traditional Q&A platforms. Headquartered in Riga, Latvia and with additional presence on Kyiv and Dnipro, Ukraine, the firm seeks to help young folks build conversations, self-expression, and deeper understanding through questions and answers.
ASKfm’s revenue model used to be focused on serving ads to its 10 million monthly unique users who visit an average of 11 pages per visit while spending an average of 8 minutes per session. Now, Blockchain technology is about to make strategic difference for ASKfm as it seeks to transition to an incentivized decentralized Q&A social network. The company is also planning to develop the educational side of the user experience with incentivized challenges that will include tutoring, online courses, and other informational activities. Leveraging Blockchain technology, ASKfm believes that a gamified incentive model is an important tool that for unlocking the next level in its growth trajectory. With its native ASKT token, questers will be able to encourage other users to answer questions while simultaneously incentivizing other users to upvote the most relevant questions.
Reddit is not a stock Q&A platform per se, but its positioning as a social discussion forum and online content rating platform qualifies it for a mention. Founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, Reddit considers itself the front page of the Internet. Reddit is where you can find curated information and user-generated content on anything across millions of specific communities where people actively air their views and read other people’s opinions.
Reddit’s revenue model is predominantly rooted in advertisements to its 542 million monthly visitors and 250 million unique users on an average of 50,000 active communities. Reddit has been selling ads since 2009, and its ads are tiered into managed ads costing around $30,000 and self-serve ads with around $5 cost per thousand. Reddit’s revenue model also includes its Reddit Gold membership plan and branded products sold in its marketplace.
The Blockchain Edge
Of the three Q&A forums profiled in this article, ASKfm is the only known firm transitioning into a blockchain-powered ecosystem. The fact that ASKfm wants to leverage blockchain to provide user anonymity, data security, and decentralized engagement already gives its a competitive edge over the duo of Quora and Reddit. The incentivized model in which users get to earn tokens for providing insightful answers to questions could also potentially drive user growth and engagement.
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