We’ve just gotten word that Facebook’s Director of Engineering for Ads, John Hegeman, will be moving to Quora to lead the Quora engineering team. While I haven’t received direct confirmation from either Quora or Hegeman on the hire, Hegeman has apparently confirmed the move on his (private) Facebook Timeline according to a tipster, writing:
Today is my last day at Facebook. I feel extremely fortunate to have spent five and a half years working with and learning from such an exceptional group of people. In particular, I want to thank Mark for building this incredible company and my managers Yishan, Kang-Xing, Greg, and Boz for all of the mentorship and opportunities that they have given me. The decision to leave wasn’t easy, but I’m very proud of all that the ads team has accomplished and I’m extremely confident that the team is in good hands. I look forward to seeing the great work I know they will continue to do. Looking forward, I’m excited to be joining the engineering team at Quora in a few weeks. I’m grateful to Adam for this opportunity to work with him and the rest of the team at Quora who are building an incredible product. I can’t wait to get started.”
The company has recently launched a series of products — like a blogging platform and reviews — that attempt to surface the cream of the Q&A site’s content crop, and the Quora engineering team has been strenuously focusing its efforts on growth hacking — throwing the kitchen sink at the problem of attracting and engaging users. Ostensibly Hegeman will be leading this charge.
Taking Quora to the next user-adoption level is a tremendous opportunity if he and CEO Adam D’Angelo can get it right. Just last night Quora was described to me as an “anti-Twitter” at a dinner party, with the specific questions “What does it feel like to murder someone?” and “What does it feel like to be an unattractive woman?” brought up as specific examples of content where people avoid the sorts of knee-jerk reactions as evidenced on Facebook and Twitter in favor of more in-depth and thoughtful responses.
There is definitely room for an anti-Twitter, but will Quora be it in the wake of platforms like Medium and Svbtle? Well …