Social networking site Facebook has launched a beta program of a new Q&A feature called Facebook Questions.
Facebook Questions will compete against a number of other services which similarly answer user-posed questions such as Yahoo Answers. However the Facebook will additionally allow uploading of images or posting of a poll. Those seeing the question will also be those that have listed the topic as an area of interest on their profile.
"Facebook Questions helps you tap into the collective knowledge of the more than 500 million people on Facebook," said Facebook director of product management Blake Ross on the Facebook Blog. "For example, if you’re vacationing in Costa Rica and want to know the best places to surf, you can use Facebook Questions to get answers from nearby surfing enthusiasts. Because questions will also appear to your friends and their friends, you’ll receive answers that are more personalized to you," added Ross.
Facebook’s approach differs from those of similar services in that it will actively seeks out responses from Facebook users of similar interests. Tagging of themes will also be used to build up a collection of knowledge provided by Facebook users.
Facebook Questions is now in a beta program where it will be initially only visible to a subset of the site’s 500 million users. The company said that it planned to launch to all users "as quickly as we can."