Yahoo Answers has officially launched on mobile. As TechCrunch reported last month, Yahoo’s experimental app code-named Yahoo Hive had been rebranded as Yahoo Answers Now — a move that indicated Yahoo’s plans to bring its desktop Q&A site to the App Store. However, at the time, the app still required an invite in order to test it out — that restriction was lifted Thursday, and the app is open to all.
Getting an invite to try the service wasn’t difficult — you only had to email a request to a given address if you wanted in. But the existence of the extra step likely discouraged many users from signing up.
Yahoo Answers, which still sees 300 million monthly users worldwide, is one of Yahoo’s better-known properties, if only because of the low-quality, sometimes frightening and sometimes hilarious answers that have been posted to its site over the years.
Among much hand-wringing in the media industry and the problems of “fake news” and vitriol circulating on the web and social media, Yahoo Answers is a definite case-in-point as to why everyone on the web doesn’t deserve an equal voice. It’s crowdsourcing at its finest, which sometimes means humanity at its worst.
From kickstarting memes like “How is babby formed?” to questions you hope are trolls making jokes to, these days, a front page often filled with outright racist commentary, Yahoo Answers is in a precarious position to say the least. It will need to clean up its act on mobile, or risk getting booted from the app store for breaking Google’s and Apple’s guidelines.
The new app includes several key features, like the ability to ask questions that are matched with qualified responders, the ability to follow others in a Twitter-like fashion, the ability to give thanks with a “thank you” and emoji buttons, notifications and it supports rich media like images and links.