Why "Facebook Questions?"
Facebook launched "Facebook Questions" to beta today and the question I want answered is: Why does the application exist in the first place?
Before I answer that though, let me provide you with a little insight as to what Facebook Questions is.
Facebook Questions will let its users ask questions on a variety of topics. You'll be able to ask 500 million people for answers to anything you want. The feature is currently rolling out to a limited number of users, but when it does officially launch, there will be an "Ask Question" icon next to a picture of a light bulb on top of your Facebook homepage, according to PC Magazine.
Now that you have an understanding of what Facebook Questions promises to do, what we don't know from the blog coverage or from Facebook's official blog post, is what does it mean for users, and more interestingly, companies and brands.
For users, while you'll be able to get answers to your questions, this application is glorified way to crowdsource information. Crowdsourcing is simply a way to ask a mass of people for feedback, ideas, thoughts, etc. — a massive brainstorm. In essence, this is what Facebook Questions appears to be, for consumers at least.
However, from a brand and company perspective, Facebook Questions might have larger implications.
For example, how is Facebook collecting data with Facebook Questions? What will they be doing with that data?
The answer to the latter question more than likely will be selling it to brands and companies to help with consumer insights.
Answers to: What music should I listen to? What movie should I go see? What camera should I go buy? will all be tracked diligently. The data will be cross- referenced to application user demographics, so if you're a company selling cameras, you'll know whether or not the 25-35 market for your specific product might be big hit.
So, while this is positioned as a resource for Facebook's 500 million users, don't be fooled. It's a business strategy to sell your data.