It’s like a cross between Chatroulette and Quora with a sprinkling of Skype. A new app called ‘Questions – Ask and Answer’ lets you record a video of yourself asking a question … then wait for video replies to that question. Simple enough, right? You could use this app as a way to digital pen pals or, better yet, video-based pen pals with students from all over the world. However, it’s more about cultivating the best answer and less about social networking. In any case, the app is worth checking out and is quite fun to toy around with.
Click here to view the app in the Apple App Store (not yet available for Android)
How The Questions App Works
You open up the app and can choose to ask or answer a question. Let’s say you have a burning question that Google or Facebook’s new Graph Search just can’t accurately answer. For example, you could ask something like ‘what do classrooms look like in New Zealand?’ After recording your 10-second video question, you upload and wait. While you wait, feel free to answer other questions asked by others.
Okay, so how will people find your question? They’ll search by keyword for something like ‘New Zealand’ or ‘classroom’ and then tap on the question … and answer it! I’ve found it helps to be as specific as possible in your question so it’s easily found in user searches.
Like Quora or Yahoo! Answers, the most popular questions (based on user ‘likes’) rise to the top. The most-liked questions and answers will appear on the app toward the top.
You can sync with Facebook so your questions / answers appear on your timeline. A fun way to get your friends involved in answering some questions that only they might be able to answer.
Note: I like the app and the idea but the only concern I would have with using this app is the fact that it’s open to the world (hence the reference to Chatroulette) where you don’t have a ton of control over what people say in their answers. Just a warning.
We Get Answers From The Questions App Creator
The app solves an obvious problem I have. I’m a very curious person, and it has been with me for as long as I can remember. Just a few days ago, someone told me that I am sometimes too curious for my own good. But let’s face it, the app solves a problem we all have. We are all curious — to varying extents. The problem with, and beauty of, life is that most times, we ask mainly our neighbors, friends, parents and those around us our questions. The answers to these questions are generally in line with the perspective of that locale. What if, as a society, humans could source answers from people of different viewpoints, belief systems, mentalities, etc? And what if, in order to aid understandability of these conversations, we could see the facial expressions of these different people who are asking or answering questions? Well, I find that very curious and worth knowing. I ultimately believe that humans are essentially good, and that conversations with persons of different perspectives helps provide us with a richer set of answers, which give more rise to more valuable questions.
To be frank, it is for everyone who is genuinely curious and who wants to go beyond searching Google for one’s own benefit, to seeing the variety of real life questions real people have, the answers others are providing, asking earnest or even fun questions, and the potential for one to also contribute by providing answers to unanswered questions.
Who’s currently using it?
We’re seeing a lot of pick up from a gamut of people such as high school students, young adults, and even parents. I’d say, nevertheless, that the younger teenage-cohort seems to be the majority.
Currently, we’re focused on growth. In the future, you’ll be able to search within the speeches themselves not just the titles, and at some point, you’ll be able to ask your question just by talking to your phone…and instead of a machine answering you, you may just happen to hear a real person reply you.