Quora begins making money with the introduction of advertising

Question and answer site Quora has made its first push to make money after it introduced advertising.

The company, which was valued at around $900 million when it closed an $80 million Series C in 2014, recently reported that it has 100 million monthly visitors, half of whom are from the U.S. with 15 percent from India. That’s up from 80 million in January, and likely the reason for this foray into ads.

“Our initial ads will show on only a very small number of question pages, and only in cases where we believe that the fact that someone is reading this particular question page means that they are likely to be interested in what the advertiser is offering,” Quora product manager Ryan Browne wrote.

Browne added that Quora will be highly selective of which companies’ messages it chooses to show. Initially it is letting four advertisers on to its platform — Lever, Uber, Wealthfront and Sunrun — though there are plans to open up to more over time.

As for the kind of messages that you can expect to see, advertisements sit below questions and are market with “promoted by.” The desktop version of the service includes a small blurb, but in the mobile app it is just the advertiser’s name.

quora ad

This move into advertising follows the launch of new features that have taken Quora beyond its initial focus on questions and answers. Those include AMA-style “sessions”, which arrived last year, and a curious feature that lets anonymous entities offer up cash-prizes for certain answers — the latter may well tie in to this new focus on advertising. Quora also made its first acquisition last month, buying Parlio, a Q&A site started by a former Googler who was involved in the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt.