Yesterday we compared a new service called BitWine to Google Answers. Apparently that was the last day we could make that comparison because at 10 p.m. last night, Google announced that they would be closing the service by the end of the week.
So if you’ve got a pressing question, ask now or forever hold your peace.
“Google is a company fueled by innovation, which to us means trying lots of new things all the time — and sometimes it means reconsidering our goals for a product,” wrote Andrew Fikes and Lexi Baugher, software engineers for Google, on their blog. “Later this week, we will stop accepting new questions in Google Answers, the very first project we worked on here. The project started with a rough idea from Larry Page, and a small 4-person team turned it into reality in less than 4 months. For two new grads, it was a crash course in building a scalable product, responding to customer requests, and discovering what questions are on people’s minds.”
So far no word on how Yahoo Answers is doing in comparison but isn’t it possible that community asking services such as these will become extinct as people learn to better navigate the Web themselves?
Update: Yahoo representatives contacted us today with data on just how Yahoo! Answers is doing. It seems that the service has 60 million users worldwide and 160 million answers.