We recently surveyed users of both our web-based beta Q&A community and our iPhone app and wanted to share some key findings and differences between how the two groups (web + mobile) engage with our Q&A service. 

We launched the beta of our user-powered Q&A community last summer, and while it is only accessible to about a third of our user base (scaling more widely soon!), we had a tremendous response to our survey. Among the key learnings about web users: 

- Respondents claimed the primary motivators for using the Ask.com Q&A community online were getting answers and information (88 percent) and learning something new (57 percent).

- The bulk of respondents were older adults (65 percent were age 45+), yet respondents age 34 and under led all UGC activities including answering, commenting and voting.

- Half of survey respondents said they engage with the Ask community at least once a week.

As for our app users, here’s what we learned:

- The most common use of the Ask for iPhone app is browsing Q&A content, followed by web search, then asking real people questions. In fact, mobile community users were more likely than web community users to say they’re motivated to use the app because they have fun seeing what other people are asking and answering.

- Teens were the leading age group for browsing and answering questions.

- Sixty-five percent of respondents said they engaged with the mobile app at least once a week. This claimed usage dovetails nicely with internal (non-survey) data showing 43 percent of visits to the iPhone app are from users who return more than 8x per month.  Collectively, this indicates a higher level of mobile engagement than what we see with site users.

One of the biggest take-aways about the two groups is the disconnect between them — and the big opportunity that holds for Ask.  More than half of the respondents for the site survey had no idea that our Ask for iPhone app existed. As for iPhone users…well, nearly 40 percent of them exclusively use the app and never make it to the website.  So there is a big opportunity here for us to connect the dots, which we’re excited about, especially as we look to expand on more mobile platforms in the coming weeks. 

Check out more survey analysis in the DigiDay article that hit today featuring  my colleague Jason Rupp and me. A big thank you to all who participated in our survey – your feedback is critical!

Ann Semeraro, Director, Consumer Insights