Quora is a platform to share and gain knowledge for people across the world. Millions of people ask questions, share knowledge and seek answers from the platform for free. The major highlight is that every single piece of information available on the platform is generated by users itself. In short, it is a purely for-user platform.
Quora works on a mission to share and grow the world’s knowledge. It is working towards providing high-quality answers to each question that a user raised.
So, this is a completely free platform for anybody who accesses it. But how does it make money? If you are bothered by the same question like many others, you have come to the right place. This article walks you through the business model of Quora, how it makes money and other interesting facts. So, stick till the end…
Short Story of Quora
Quora, an American question and answer website lets people ask questions, answer the questions, edit, like, and follow. Thus, it is generally a platform where web users can find opinions of different people for the topic.
This brilliant website that bridged the gap between users and untold information was founded in June 2009 in Palo Alto. As of 2018, it had generated a revenue of $20 million USD according to Wikipedia.
In 2009, two former Facebook employees, Ada, D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever created this brilliant platform to help people gain more knowledge about world events, life decisions and other important things.
In order to bring the knowledge that is buried in people’s heads, books and papers to the people who actually need it, Quora was designed. Though it is completely a Q/A site with content created by users, it also publishes knowledgeable articles.
Okay, enough said! Now, let’s see the business model of Quora.
What is Quora Business Model?
With over 300 unique million users, Quora has become one of the popular social media platforms that allows people to share their ideas and knowledge with each other. It has users of all ranges, niches that share knowledge to people who need it. Once the content is generated it remains forever, unless the owner deletes it.
Quora valuation is around $1.8 billion as of 2019, the company is growing so fast.
The main motive behind Quora is to serve people with highly accurate and quality answers. For the same reason, it introduced features such as merged questions, translations, quora sessions, wikidata references to improve user engagement with the website.
The major advantage is that web users do not need to login to access the answers.
The platform is similar to Reddit where Quora’s community can upvote the answer. Thus the highly voted answer shows on top.
So, everything on Quora is for free. The only ways it makes money is through crowdfunding, advertisements and paid questions.
Moreover, Quora also lets its users make money through Quora Space and Quora Partner Programs.
Quora Space: Giant space for contributor community to create space for individuals. They can provide valuable content, build an audience and make money from the ad revenue. Currently, the program is in its beta version and is not generating any revenue as of now.
Quora Partner Program: A program for questionnaires, who can post interesting and unique questions on the platform. They get paid for how much traffic their question has generated.
- Quora has 300 million unique monthly active users
- There are over 400,000 topics on Quora
- Total number of questions asked as of 2020 is 595,410
In earlier days, Quora had no source to generate income. Hence, it only survived with the fundings. Nevertheless, its valuation never decreased. In its series D funding it was valued at $85 million. Moreover, Quora acquired Parlio, a platform for political debates, in March 2016 with seed funding of $1.7 million.
How does Quora Make Money?
So, here is the interesting part of this article – how does Quora make money?
Quora is a vast space with a huge database. Millions of people engage with the website which made it a target for advertisers.
Quora launched ads in April 2017, a year later, it raised $85 million in Series D funding rounds. Thus it was made a Unicorn company with $1.8 billion revenue, though it was not struggling monetizing the product.
Quora then launched a self-serve ad platform, meaning advertisers can buy the ad space directly without need of middlemen.
It started showing ads from a limited number of advertisers. However, the story is completely different now. There are a lot of advertisers on Quora too.
So, like Pinterest, a social media service, Quora also makes money through advertising. Of course, it’s no different than other companies like Instagram.
Read: Pinterest Business Model
However, the only difference is it shows highly relevant ads. Quora helps advertisers launch ads within a few minutes. It states that the platform handles millions of questions and answers every month. With over 65% of users reporting a college degree, 37% users are more likely to be a manager and 54% report annual household income >$100k. Hence, the platform is much likely to generate leads for advertisers.
It charges from $5 per day to run ads. Advertisers can choose their target audience, optimize the ad and pay for clicks.
As the platform has a potential and highly targeted audience which is why the number of marketers investing on Quora has grown to 4X since last year according to Hanapin Marketing.
So, where do ads on Quora display?
Quora shows ads from relevant advertisers on home page and forum pages.
Also, it is clear that it limits the ads to homepage and forum pages as promoted posts are likely to disturb user experience. However, it makes money more than its competitors Stack Overflow, Fandom etc. Yet, user experience is a great challenge as users expect to view answers or answer questions without any obstacles on the platform.
Is Quora’s Business Model Sustainable?
With over $1.8billion revenue according to 2019 reports, Quora is gradually in terms of revenue. However, it is in the race of making profits along with mighty competitors such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterst. Hence, it has to face a tough competition as it has chosen the advertisements as its business model.
Although, there is a huge market inside the platform with highly potential users and advertisers, it has to offer a smooth experience to users. A lot of ads might disturb users and force them to avoid visiting the platform again. Again, there are users who will visit the platform despite there being many ads.
Also, the innovative Partner Program, and the Quora Space have scope to generate revenue. They are to be promoted well, so that the company makes more profit in the coming days.
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Quora is not alone in its niche, it has many competitors like Reddit, Stack Overflow, Yahoo Answers, etc. However, Quora has made itself one of the best platforms for sharing and gaining knowledge. Also, it made advertisements as its business model.
As advertisers look at giant platforms where a large range of audiences exist, Quora is slowly able to attract the eyeballs of advertisers. The more it convinces them with proper stats and promises higher ROI, the faster it makes money.