At around 5:30 am on Sunday, May 7th, almost precisely five months since we launched, a user posted the 10 millionth answer on the service. This is a big day for us, and we’ve decided to celebrate by coming out of beta, and beginning the integration of Answers into our core search services.
Do a search on Yahoo! and you’ll see how questions and answers are being surfaced within results. Every day, someone out there has a question, and someone out there knows the answer and gives it for free. Just because helping someone by sharing what you know is a reward in itself.
The popularity of similar knowledge search products in Taiwan, Korea, China and Japan are already making an impact on people searching the web in those countries. We are starting to see a shift in search technology from a world dominated by algorithms and machines exclusively to search results made better through people.
To catch you up...
The diversity of useful knowledge on Yahoo! Answers never ceases to surprise us, and we’re working to make the knowledge being shared on Answers available elsewhere.
For example, do a web search for Harley Davidson and find practical tips about Harleys at the bottom of the search result page, find links on community sites like Yahoo! Groups, and search for home speaker setup advice on content sites like Yahoo! Tech. For those who want to do a search on Answers content from their browser, here’s a link to adding Answers as an optional search repository on Firefox. Integrating Answers content into these areas and more will fuel the finding and contributing of people’s knowledge to the web. You’ll also eventually see Answers distributed across the web via APIs and badges for you to tweak and use however you like.
Answers wouldn’t be anything without the people who use it. Anirudh Koul broke 10,000 points in the first three weeks and then found himself being interviewed by the New York Times about his Answers experience, and our current points leader is Jane Furrows, is a resident expert on Answers itself, and has been helping out others on the site with her experience and wisdom. Also, we’ve had some notable participants on Answers in the last few months. Deepak Chopra asked about world peace and Donald Trump asked for advice on raising his newborn son.
Knowledge knows no boundaries
We also recently launched Yahoo! Answers in the UK, Canada, Australia, and India with language support for countries such as Spain, Germany and France coming soon. And with language translation services such as Babelfish, and better country-specific support such as the ability to filter questions and answers by source country coming soon, we are not too far away from the day when you’ll be able to ask a question about the history of the Ming empire and get answers from Chinese college students in Beijing translated from Mandarin into your own language.
Keep on truckin'...
We’ve been following a fast-paced development process to improve all aspects of the service – community and content management, discoverability, speed, ease of use, the list goes on. In the next few weeks, you’ll continue to see more features, such as a new ratings and reputation system that will reward high-quality questions and answers.
Of course, we aren’t even close to being done. We’re going to continue making product updates that will improve content quality and make it easier to find answers to your questions, whether it's in the search results or easier question categorization. As always, please don't hesitate to tell us what you would like to see next. As many of our most active users can attest, a number of our best current features came directly from their suggestions.
People will continue to make search results better - not just the people developing the search technology or the content from web sites being crawled and indexed, but people from all walks of life who happen to have the answer you need, when you need it. Combined with continued advancements in information supply and retrieval, products like answers, and the convergence of these worlds, will continue to bring us closer to realizing our vision of enriching people's lives by enabling them to find, use, share and expand all human knowledge.
Let us know what you think!
Yahoo! Answers Team