Showing posts tagged mobile
Here’s a question we thought we’d float around Ask.com: Which smart phone platform do you prefer?
While Ask supports both platforms with equal passion, when it came to personal pref, our responses were unanimous. We enclose herewith our three favorites.
Katie McCarty, HR Manager
“I had a Droid for a month (I lost my iPhone and had another month until my next upgrade) and the user interface just didn’t click for me. I don’t read instructions or user forums, so when it comes to technology, it has to be intuitive.”
Eve Chaurand, Vice President, General Counsel
“iPhone, because all the apps I wanted were on iPhone. And Doug wanted us to test Siri (who turned out to be useless).”
Robbie Waeschenfelder, Marketing Director
“Android exists purely to make the iPhone look even better by comparison. Like an ugly sibling.”
Sometimes it seems like the only thing anyone talks about anymore is mobile. And that’s for good reason – the marketing intelligence firm eMarketer recently published a remarkable statistic – people are now spending more time consuming information on their phones than from printed media like newspapers and magazines. Mobile and print were neck in neck in 2010, but mobile jumped dramatically in 2011. This isn’t a surprise at Ask.com, where we’ve seen over 1 million downloads of our iPhone app since it launched in late 2010. Our recently-released Android app is on a similar trajectory, growing users at a rate of about 45% each month.
Despite the buzz about mobile, eMarketer’s report suggests that TV is still going strong. Adults in the US are actually watching 10 minutes more TV per day this year than they were in 2010. This is also great news for us, since we’re stepping up our TV advertising in several cities in 2012. If you live in San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia or Washington, DC you may notice commercials for Ask.com during one of your favorite shows starting in January. Let us know if you see them!
Click here to read more about the eMarketer study.
Ann Semeraro, Director, Consumer and Market Insight
As promised a few weeks ago, Ask.com just rolled out a new experience for visitors coming to our website from an iPhone, iPod touch, or Android device. While we’ve been excited to see how users have embraced our iPhone app (nearly 700,000 downloads and counting!) we’ve also seen tremendous growth in the number of users who access Ask.com on their mobile devices - triple digit growth in the past few months.
Interestingly, this major growth has given us a front row seat to the Android vs. iPhone battle. iOS devices currently make up 55 percent of Ask.com smartphone mobile traffic - but it’s not going to be long before Android takes the top spot. Android traffic has skyrocketed more than 60 percent so far this year, while iOS traffic has grown a much smaller 30 percent.
Regardless of platform, we’ve seen consistently that smartphone users on Ask.com come to us not only for keyword searches but also – you guessed it – to ask a question. As of today, we’re making it as simple as possible for users visiting our site via their mobile browsers to ask questions while on the go. For example, users can now see, and edit entire questions. In addition to tailoring the interface to more long-form questions, we’ve also rolled out a host of features to make refining web searches easier, such as spell suggest, search suggestions, related search and enhanced answers at the top of the results page. Try it on your iPhone, iPod touch or Android and let us know what you think in the comments!
Jason Rupp Sr. Director, Product Management
Last weekend I had the opportunity to check out the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon organized in New York. There is something about this type of event that sets it apart from others – maybe it’s the hacking itself, the people or the atmosphere — nonetheless, I am always excited to participate. The challenge? Pick a real-world problem and hack a solution – all in 24 hours. The event is geared towards developers, just the type of folks who are not afraid to get down and harness the best of their abilities to build something that’s functional in such a short timeframe.
At the Disrupt Hackathon, developers either went solo or banded together in groups – it seemed you were definitely at an advantage working in a group given the short duration. Also, given the nature of the event, most developers found they were better off leveraging existing APIs from other sites and properties, than building something from scratch.
Thanks to the many open APIs available, the developers were able to focus on the problem and tap a vast array of available APIs to tackle tricky use cases like acquiring data from other systems. APIs can also give developers new ideas on what they can incorporate in their application, and additional functionality to enhance the value proposition. Best of all, since most of these APIs are based on HTTP, and optionally RESTful, they can be leveraged by an application built on any platform that supports it — be it mobile, desktop or a large scale web application. Not only does this make the APIs extremely powerful but also both parties are able to benefit. The API provider gets additional exposure to its services, brand recognition and possibly new content, while developers get to build upon existing services, extending them or incorporating them in interesting ways. Check out some of the top hacks from this year here .
At Ask, we are passionate about answering questions, and we have developed sophisticated systems and algorithms that combine the power of search with the insight of a live user community. We see a lot of value in giving developers access to our technology via simple APIs that are easy to use and integrate and give developers around the world ability to integrate our answers technology into their products. Expect to hear more from us on this front in the coming months!
I definitely want to give Tarikh Korula and Daniel Raffel a big shout out for doing an excellent job organizing the event and am looking forward to the San Francisco Disrupt hackathon scheduled later this year.
Vishal Shah, Director of Engineering, Mobile & Platforms
It is so exciting to watch the Ask.com Q&A community grow and observe users’ interactions and behavior. In particular, we see that users who interact with answers from real people (a feature currently in beta) are more active than those who don’t engage with our Q&A community - in fact, users who engage with human-powered answers visit the site twice as much as those who don’t. It starts to get even more interesting when we drill down into the different types of Q&A activities occurring across user segments. We see mobile driving a significant portion of our Q&A service registration.
The mobile users of Ask.com Q&A go beyond consuming information – overall they are actually producing more content (questions, answers, comments) than typical site users. In fact, mobile users of our service overall produce 3x as many answers as our site users. Further, they generate more than 4x the volume of answers per question than site users (who, by the way, already contribute a healthy 2:1 ratio of answers per question). Similarly, our mobile users provide twice as many comments as our Q&A site users.
On the flip side, site users engage in asking questions more than answering and commenting. In fact, they ask twice as many questions as our mobile users. Although site users appear to prefer asking questions over other activities (answering/commenting), they still contribute to answering and commenting activities significantly.
It seems site users like to ask, and mobile ones like to answer and comment. It will be interesting to watch this evolve as we continue to grow Ask’s presence across more mobile platforms.
Neda Farzinnia, Director of Analytics
I had the privilege of attending AppNation last week to moderate a panel called: Beyond The Check-In: How To Harness Real-Time Mobile Data.
Joining my panel was Di-Ann Eisnor from Waze, Rob DeMillo from 4INFO and Akash Agarwal from Location Labs. After launching the Ask.com iPhone app in November of last year and Ask Around for SXSW this past March, it has become clear how important mobile and the location based model is to our products.
Ask.com mobile users are up to 5x more engaged than those using our other products, so joining this panel was a great opportunity to hear from others tackling similar problems and focus on key topics including monetization, privacy and how products are evolving as explicit signals like geo location become more prevalent in mobile devices.
Di-Ann shared insights into how game mechanics improved engagement and participation in Waze, a social mapping application.
She recently gave a talk on the subject that can be viewed here.
Rob and Akash shared their thoughts on advertising and privacy concerns.
Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in our panel and the follow up discussions thereafter.
Nick McCann, VP Technology