Asking Questions

I came across a very interesting post on Mashable this morning about a new product launched by Facebook. Really it was actually an update to an already existing product and there was also a post on Facebook's blog about it as well. The product is simply called Questions and I'm sure I do not need to go into detail about what it does. The name says it all really. There are however, a few interesting points I think this brings up for marketers who are using Facebook as a promotional tool. Before I get into that though, I've read about a few comparisons of this to Quora and I should express that in my opinion, they are entirely different products. Facebook's has the ability of being far more personal and drawing on a pre-existing social graph. Quora has the benefit of elongated answers and expert opinions on niche topics. 

Alright, now back to where I think it can get very interesting for marketers. There is a feature built into the product that allows users to select options for answers (before asking the question) and people answering the question can even suggest new answers. For example if you asked what is the best restaurant in a given city and you listed 5 places... one of your friends could potentially add a 6th to your list (if you allow them to do so - there's a checkbox). The cool thing about this is when you populate responses/choices, if one of the choices has a corresponding Facebook page... it will be automatically linked to your question. If you read the Mashable article you will see what I'm talking about. 

Now what if there was a way for marketers to find out whether their Facebook page is being occasionally chosen as an option within Questions? More importantly, what if there was a way for marketers to find out what questions were being asked and then target display ads to answer those questions? The idea may not be completely ridiculous. I guess we'll have to wait and see if users find this creepy or extremely relevant. 

The other interesting avenue for marketers is with Facebook pages now being able to act like profile pages (you can assume the identity of a Facebook page) you can hopefully begin to ask your own questions! This already exists in a way in the form of discussions, but questions looks a lot cleaner. It will be cool to watch the evolution of this product and hopefully it will allow people to get more relevant answers, by just asking questions.