Let’s face it. Some questions aren’t meant to be answered by a machine. That’s why you’ll see some changes to Ask.com today that involve you, our valued community of experts on all sorts of topics. Ask opened up its community portion of the site, previously in limited beta, to everyone – yup, all 63 million of you – so you can get answers from real people to subjective questions.
In addition, you’ll also probably notice a new look and feel that reflects what we’ve learned about how search and social intersect to offer the best Q&A experience. The new design helps users find the best answer to their question – whether that answer comes from a traditional Web search or from the community.
- 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 Ask.com 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 – Ask.com’s Q&A focused algorithms go beyond page rank and link counts to actually match queries with real answers. A search on Ask.com 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 & Social Features – Users can now share questions and answers of interest across multiple social platforms.
The Wall Street Journal wrote on the news this morning, check it out here. Also, check out screenshots below.